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E. A. OWEN. 








Commercial Essayist 






ENTERED according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight, by EGBERT AMERICUS OWEN, at the 
Department of Agriculture. 


Alexander McCall,M.P, 



ot tbe brave olfc pioneers 





Alexander McCall, M.P 


THIS book is not a history of Norfolk County. It is 
simply a series of historical sketches and essays which tell the 
story of pioneer life in the early days of Long Point Settle- 
ment, and depict the character and life work of the first cabin - 
builders. As a whole, it is a history of the old trench-diggers 
and their crude beginnings ; and, in this sense, the book may 
properly be styled a history of Long Point Settlement during 
the time it remained judicial headquarters for old London 

These sketches are not presented to the public as gems of 
literary excellence. Their real worth, whatever that may be, 
lies in what they reveal and not in how they reveal it ; there- 
fore, the writer has no fears for a possible adverse criticism 
which a handful of merciless literary critics may deem proper 
to give them. 

That the opportune time has arrived for a publication of 
this kind is quite apparent. More than a century has passed 
since the old foundation builders began their work. They told 
the story of their experiences to their children, but of all the 
sons and daughters born to them in their early cabins not 
one is left to repeat the story. Generation has succeeded gen- 
eration until we find ourselves so far removed from the old 


pioneer days that we know very little about them. In the 
Public Schools throughout the Province, and in many a district 
school in the neighboring States, may be found the great- 
great-grandchildren of the men who fired the first log heaps in 
Norfolk ; and it is to these and the rising generation generally, 
who know so little of their ancestors, that this volume is especi- 
ally dedicated ; and the author trusts that it may infuse into 
their young minds a keener sense of gratitude for the wonder- 
ful advantages which have fallen to their lot, and inspire them 
with renewed courage to battle for the right and overcome 
the many difficulties which await them in the pathway of life. 
If future generations of Norfolk's citizenship are to remain as 
patriotic and loyal as the present and past have been, we must 
awaken in the minds of the young an interest in the story of 
pioneer life. They must study the character of the men and 
women who lost everything and suffered everything for con- 
science sake ; and they must know of the hardships endured 
with fortitude, the privations suffered with patient resignation, 
and the great obstacles surmounted by firm determination and 
resolute perseverance, which mark the lives of these old 
pioneers in their struggles for existence in the primeval forest. 
The author endeavored to gather as much of this wonderful 
story as he possibly could, and this volume contains the fruits 
of his labors. No available source of information was spared, 
and yet the work is far from being complete. Owing to the 
destruction of so many of the old records and other document- 
ary evidences of pioneer happenings, much of the data required 
was obtained by careful and repeated interviews with the 
remaining few who, in their youthful days, sat at the feet of 
the old pioneers themselves. That the memories of these old 


people may have become more or less clouded with the infirm- 
ities of old age is quite possible, and the thoughtful reader, 
therefore, will not be unduly shocked if he detect an occasional 
error in the family histories, and, more especially, in the family 
genealogies. It must also be remembered that these living 
oracles, standing with one foot in the grave, as it were, will 
very soon be laid beside their fathers in the silent city of the 
dead, and that much of the information recorded on these 
pages, had it not been gathered in time, would then have been 
lost forever. 

In planning the work the author decided to commence at 
the very beginning of things in Norfolk and follow down to a 
certain fixed date, so far, at least, as the family histories are 
concerned. This was found to be necessary for two reasons : 
First, that the volume might be complete in its purport and yet 
not too large or cumbersome for a binding in cloth ; and 
second, that the writer might avoid the charge of favoritism 
in his treatment of the old families. This date is the year 
1805 ; and, accordingly, every family settlement made during, 
or previous to, that year, where the requisite data were obtain- 
able, is made the subject, in whole or in part, of a separate 
sketch in the series ; and in connection with the old family 
genealogies which are carried down to the third generation 
will be found short sketches of numerous families who came to 
the settlement at a later date. 

In conclusion, the reader is again reminded of the difficulties 
encountered in obtaining authentic information. This is the 
first history of our old families ever written, although some of 
the scenes depicted in these sketches were enacted more than 
a hundred years ago ; and as the dead cannot speak to us, nor 


old records be restored after having been destroyed, the lights 
that shone out from the early cabin windows were becoming 
more and more obscure as the years went by. The author 
has simply gathered what has not been lost, and this volume 
will preserve it. Trusting that those to whom it is especially 
dedicated will find both pleasure and profit on its pages, he 
commits it to their care. 

E. A. OWEN. 



I. An Historical Digest 15 

II. Norfolk's First White Man Billy Smith 23 

III. Dr. Troyer and his Big Witch Trap 29 

IV. Walsingham's Second Settler Lucas Dedrick - 33 
V. First White Burial in Old Charlotteville Frederick Mabee 37 

VI. Boxed Up by his Wife Abraham Smith . 43 

VII. The Town of Charlotteville 49 

VIII. The Father of Norfolk Presbyterianism Jabez Culver - 56 

IX. Ryerson and Ryerse 62 

X. A Pioneer Wheatfield - 72 

XI. A Pioneer Who Lived in the Executive Log Mansion 

The Austin Family 76 

XII. The Double Culver Quartette - 84 

XIII. Two Highland Lads - 91 

XIV. The Clan McCall - - 94 
XV. Two Maryland Dutchmen 101 

XVI. Comforts of Old Age - 105 
XVII. A Young Pioneer Who Brought the Old Family Bible- 
Price Family - 109 
XVIII. Norfolk's Gallows ----- 114 
XIX. Neil's Corners and Cope's Landing - 120 
XX. The Old Gustin Mill 123 
XXI. A Strict Family Disciplinarian 127 
XXII. Lieutenant Teeple's Mistake - - - 131 

XXIII. " The Good Old Times "- ------ 134 

XXIV. Jake Sovereign, the Pioneer Tavern-Keeper - 137 



XXV. The Earl of Mar, and the Marrs and Lemons of Norfolk 143 

XXVI. A Family of French Huguenots - 149 

XXVII. A Pioneer " Meetin' " at Father Abraham Powell's - 154 

XXVIII. The Sons of Old Hendrick Slacht- - 158 

XXIX. Our Fair Daughters - - 164 

XXX. A Pioneer Murdered On His Way to Norfolk Barber 

Family 170 

XXXI. A U. E. Loyalist Ranger Haviland Family 176 

XXXII. Captain Edward McMichael - - 181 

XXXIII. A Veteran Educator and Judge 185 

XXXIV. Whiskey a Medium of Exchange - 190 
XXXV. Pioneer Chickens Hatched in Transit - 194 

XXXVI. A Young Mother's Grave - - - 200 

XXXVII. A Pioneer Mother who Weighed Three Hundred Pounds 204 

XXXVIII. A Jolly Old Pioneer 207 

XXXIX. The Sons of Captain John Oaks - - 211 

XL. A Case of Church-going Mania - - - 215 

XLI. "Maple Avenue," the Old McMichael Homestead - 218 

XLII. A Somnambulistic Preacher .._- 224 

XLIII. The Jansen de Rapeljes and Johnsons of Long Island 227 

XLIV. The Old Wyckoff Homestead on Long Island 231 

XLV. An Illustrious Ancestor Walker Family - - 237 

XL VI. Our Grandfathers' Struggle with the Forest 241 

XL VII. Israel Wood and His Family - - 247 

XLVIII. Othniel Smith - - 249 

XLIX. A Man Who Practises What He Preaches - 252 

L. The Three Ephraims 255 

LI. A Woodhouse Pioneer who was a British Naval Officer 261 

LII. The Tisdale Brothers 265 

LIII. The Pioneer Baptist Church 271 
LIV. Pioneers in Methodism James Matthews and Jacob 

Buchner - - 277 

LV. A Bright and Shining Example Job Loder 283 

LVI. Captain William Franklin - - 287 
LVII. Two Brothers Meet in Deadly Combat at Lundy's Lane 

Owen Brothers - - - - - - - 290 



LVIII. Titus Finch, the Old Soldier Preacher - - 297 

LIX. Pioneer Odds and Ends - "' - ... 301 

LX. A Family of Pioneer Mothers McCleish Family - 307 

LXI. Offshoots of Welsh Nobility Walsh Family 311 

LXII. One of the Old Pioneer Deacons Oliver Mabee - 316 

LXIII. The Boy Who Waited on the Governor Pellum Mabee 321 

LXIV. Old Fort Monroe and the Courts Held There - - 324 

LXV. A Family of Boston Pioneers Corliss Family - - 332 

LXVI. A Pioneer Deacon and Father of Deacons Johnson 

Family - - 339 
LXVII. A Famous Middleton Pioneer Hunter Middleton 

Browns ...,.--- 342 

LXVIII. Pioneer Masonry 347 

LXIX. A Maryland Plantation Overseer Potts - - 355 

LXX. Norfolk's Old Veteran High Constable Pegg - 360 

LXXI. When Grandmother Slaght was a Girl - - - 366 

LXXII. Old Newport - 370 

LXXIII. A Singular Coincidence - - 373 

LXXIV. The Old Woodhouse Squire Who Kissed the Bride - 376 

LXXV. The Man Who Surveyed Walsingham Hazen Family 382 

LXXVI. Tried by God and Their Country at Turkey Point - 387 

LXXVIL Captain Anderson, of Vittoria 397 

LXXVIII. The Story of Mary Sitts - - - 403 

. LXXIX. The Six Montross Brothers and Sisters - 411 

LXXX. Old St. 'John's Church 415 

LXXXI. The Old Pulpit Veteran of Waterford - 420 

LXXXII. Taken in by a Land Shark John Kern 426 

LXXXIII. The Buchners and Boughners 431 

LXXXIV. The Steinhoff Brothers 437 

LXXXV. Norfolk Presbyterian ism - - 440 

LXXXVI. Captain Mead A Victim of the McArthur Raid 443 

LXXXVIL A Master Foundation Builder Rev. Daniel Freeman 448 

LXXXVIII. The Old Furnace 452 

LXXXIX. Talks With a Port Rowan Pioneer Mother Mother 

Ellis - - 458 

XC. A Jewell at Lundy's Lane Jewell Family - - 463 


XCI. Walked 500 Miles to Tell His Friend He Was Converted 

Deacon Kitchen - 466 

XCII. The Old Mud Church - 472 

XCIII. The Robinson Family of Townsend 476 

XCIV. Died With Their Boots On The Messacar Family- - 481 

XCV. The Squire of Colborne Beemer Family - - - 484 

XCVI. Frederick Sovereign and His Norfolk Descendants - 490 

XCVII. Pioneer Municipal Government 497 

XCVIIL A Father and Son Blessed With Thirty-nine Children 

Parney Family -------- 507 

XCIX. Wonderful Pedestrian Feats of a Pioneer Father and 

Mother Timothy Culver - - - 511 

C. The Four-and-twenty Family of Walsingham - - - 514 

CI. "Ned" Foster and His Dog " Gunner "Foster Family 519 

CII. Captain Jonathan Williams - - - 526 

CHI. Backhouse Family Major John Backhouse - 533 

CIV. Old Woodhouse Church, the Cradle of Norfolk Methodism 538 

CV. The German Settlement in Middleton - 544 

CVI. The Welcome Latch-string The Family of John Heath- 554 

CVII. A Pioneer Poet and the Culvers of Woodhouse 560 

CVIII. Then and Now - ... 568 


E. A. OWEN - - Frontispiece. 




REV. J. H. WOODLEY - 162 


JOHN HAVILAND (the grandson) - 178 























OUR forefathers began their pioneer work in Norfolk early 
in the closing decade of last century. Previous to 1790 not a 
single forest-tree, probably, had ever been felled by a permanent 
white settler. It may be asked, what of our county area 
during all the countless ages which preceded the coming of the 
old pioneers this splendid area which now contains so many 
smiling farms and beautiful, comfortable homes ? It is not 
the desire of the writer of this volume of pioneer sketches to 
encroach upon territory belonging to our future county his- 
torian; but before introducing the old pioneers it is but 
relevant to my work to give a brief digest of the little that is 
known of the country previous to their coming. This may 
have a tendency to create in the minds of our people a desire 
to know more, and instead of forestalling, it will strengthen 
the demand for a full and complete history of the county. 
Such histories have been perfected in other counties, and 
Norfolk, the elder sister of the counties that surround her, will 
surely fall in line. 

The historical facts contained in the subjoined sketch were 
gleaned from the able contributions of James H. Coyne, 


C. 0- Ermatinger, and K. W. McKay, in the publication of the 
Elgin Historical and Scientific Institute, entitled " Historical 
Sketches of the County of Elgin." Up to within a little more 
than a century and a half of the time when Dr. Troyer erected 
his log cabin on the flats just east of Port Rowan, the district 
comprising the County of Norfolk and adjoining counties had 
never been traversed by a European at least history is silent 
as to any such visitation previous to the year 1626. At this 
time our county was a portion of the territory owned and 
occupied by a nation of aborigines known to the French as the 
" Neutrals." The Neutral country included all of the western 
peninsula of Ontario lying beyond a line drawn from the 
west end of Lake Ontario to the mouth of the Maitland River. 
They were called Neutrals on account of the strict neutrality 
maintained during the wars between theHurons and thelroquois. 

Champlain visited the Bruce peninsula in 1616. In his 
description of this visit he states that the Neutrals were a 
powerful nation, holding a large extent of country and number- 
ing 4,000 warriors. He says they lived two days southward 
and that he had a great desire to go and see them, but was 
dissuaded from doing so by the Ottawas and other adjoining 
tribes. Good reasons were assigned for the admonition given, 
and Champlain concluded to forego the pleasure of visiting 
their country. 

The European who first visited the Neutral country was a 
Recollet father named De Laroche-Daillon. He was accom- 
panied by two Frenchmen Grenolle and La Vallee, and on 
October 23rd, 1626, they arrived at one of the Neutral villages. 
They were hospitably entertained and amply supplied with 
venison, pumpkins and " neintahouy." The surprise shown by 
the Indians clearly indicated that they had never before been 
visited by a Christian missionary. Daillon was kindly received, 
visited several of their villages and remained with them three 
months. They adopted him as a citizen and child of the 
country, and entrusted him to the care of their great chief, 
Souharissen. The Neutrals had twenty-eight villages, besides 


several small hamlets of seven or eight cabins built in different 
parts of the country as hunting, fishing, and farming stations. 
Souharissen was mighty in war, and the authority wielded by 
him had no parallel among the other tribes. War clubs and 
bows were the weapons used, and the Neutral warriors were 
adepts in using them. 

Father Daillon was very much pleased with the country. 
He declared it was the most beautiful of all the countries he 
had seen. He noted the abundance of deer, and the Indian 
mode of capturing them by driving them into, gradually 
narrowing inclosures. He refers to moose, beaver, wild-cats* 
bustards, turkeys, cranes, etc., as being abundant, and remarks 
upon the squirrels as being larger than those of France. It. 
was in the winter season, and yet he describes the natives as 
being "entirely unclad" and lazy and immoral. 

After Daillon's visit the Neutrals were left to themselves 
for fourteen years, when two Jesuits Breboeuf and Chaurnonot 
traversed their country. About this time crude maps of the 
Neutral country appeared showing several towns, none of 
which is shown as being within our county limits. The priests 
were instructed to establish a mission, and on November 6th,. 
1640, they arrived at the first Neutral village, which is sup- 
posed to have been located near the present site of Brantford. 
The missionaries wandered from village to village, and, owing 
to the circulation of malicious reports by the emissaries of 
neighboring tribes, they were subjected to great hardships. 
They remained four months and visited eighteen villages, 
to each of which they gave a Christian name. Becoming 1 
disheartened, they determined to leave the country, but being 
caught in a heavy fall of snow at a village supposed to have 
been located near the present site of Woodstock, they lodged' 
in the cabin of a squaw for twenty-five days. 

The Neutrals were frequently at war with the Nation of 
Fire, whose dominions were to the west of the Detroit River. 
In 1643, about 2,000 Neutrals invaded their country, and, 
after killing a large number, carried off 800 captives. It is- 


said that at this time the Nation of Fire was more numerous 
than the Neutrals, the Hurons and the Iroquois all combined, 
which speaks much for the lighting qualities of the Neutrals 
as displayed in this exploit. About the middle of the last 
century a fierce tribal war broke out, and when it subsided 
the Neutral nation was no more. The Iroquois turned their 
forces, against them, and after destroying their frontier villages 
and capturing a large number of warriors, consternation and 
fear took possession of the remainder. They abandoned their 
homes, and the remnants of a once proud and powerful nation 
wandered away in different directions and were absorbed by 
^distant tribes, thereby losing their identity forever. 

After the expulsion of the Neutrals, what had been their 
country remained an unpeopled wilderness, being described in 
the French maps as " the Iroquois beaver ground." To 
intercept this beaver traffic the French built forts at Detroit, 
Niagara and Toronto ; but for nearly a century and a half no 
settlement was attempted on the north shore of Lake Erie. 
During this long solitude very little is recorded in history 
bearing on the area embraced in the County of Norfolk. 
Travellers coasted along the shore in canoes in passing between 
eastern points and the North- West, but they never landed 
except for shelter and repose. The usual route from Quebec 
to Lake Superior was by way of the Ottawa and French 
rivers, but in the autumn of 1669 Joliet made a return trip by 
way of the lower lakes, being the first Frenchman to descend 
Lake Erie. He left his canoe at the mouth of Kettle Creek, 
and crossed overland to Burlington Bay. About half-way 
between the Grand River and the bay he met La Salle and the 
Sulpician priests, Dollier de Casson and De Galinee. Joliet 
gave the priests a description of his route, and La Salle 
returned with him. The priests descended the Grand River 
to the lake, and then followed the shore to the mouth of 
Patterson's Creek. Here, on the present site of Port Dover, the 
party, including seven men besides the two priests, remained 
five months and .eleven days, being visited in their cabin by 


Iroquois beaver hunters. This was during the winter of 1669 
and 1670, and on March 23rd, the day of their departure, they 
planted a cross with an inscription on it on the lake shore. 
They coasted up the lake, and before reaching the sand beach 
connecting Long Point with the mainland, had to pass two 
streams. To effect the first crossing they were obliged to 
ascend the stream four leagues before they found a suitable 
place to cross. This must have been Young's Creek, which 
flows into the lake at Port Ryerse. Father Galinee, no doubt, 
had reference to the French legal posting league which equalled 
2,42 English miles, and if he correctly estimated the distance, 
they must have walked up the north bank of the creek a 
distance of more than nine and a half miles, which would take 
them above Charlotte ville Ce'ntre. Young's Creek must surely 
have been a mighty torrent on that March day more than two 
centuries gone by to make such an effort as this necessary to 
cross it. What a precious bit of information it would be to 
know just where that crossing was made ! 

At Big Creek they were detained a whole day constructing 
a raft with which to cross, and were further delayed by a 
stormy north wind and a heavy fall of snow. After crossing 
they were compelled to wade girdle deep through mud and 
slush a distance of two hundred paces. When they arrived at 
the sandy ridge connecting the point with the mainland, they 
encamped near the sand-bar and waited for the canoes. It 
being Holy Week, the party remained in camp until April 8th, 
celebrating Easter together. 

They proceeded as before, four in charge of the canoes and 
the other five on foot. They found Joliet's canoe where he had 
left it, and on May 25th arrived at the Sault. Father Galinee 
gave a glowing description of the abundance of game and wild 
fruits seen opposite Long Point. 

The party went into camp at the outlet of Lynn Valley 
about the middle ef October, 1769. The following winter was 
mild and open. They came in advance of the first frosts and 
found the wild fruits of the forest at their best. Father Galinee 


describes the grapes as being as large and as sweet as the finest 
in France, and the wine made from them as being equal to 
vin de grave. He admired the walnuts, chestnuts, wild apples 
and plums. He found Norfolk bear-meat more palatable than 
the most " savory " pig-meat in France. He saw wandering 
herds of deer, and sometimes as many as two hundred were 
seen feeding together. To sum up, he calls the region " the 
terrestrial paradise of Canada." 

The results of this voyage stirred the French to renewed 
activity in establishing new trading posts and pushing trade 
generally ; but although the north shore of Lake Erie became 
a trade thoroughfare, no trading post was established and no 
settlement attempted on our shore. A map of 1755 shows 
Patterson's Creek as the River D'Oollier, while on other maps 
it is named the River of the Wintering. 

At the time of the conquest, in 1759, the Ojibways, or their 
kindred, the Mississagas, were the sole occupants of western 
Ontario, except a small portion near Detroit ; and it was the 
latter who ceded, in 1784, a large portion of the old territory of 
the Neutrals, including the area which subsequently became 
the County of Norfolk. 

Charlevoix, the distinguished traveller, made a coasting 
voyage up the lake in 1721, and he describes Big Creek and 
Long Point as follows : " The first of June being Whitsunday, 
after going up a pretty river almost an hour, which comes a 
great way and runs between two fine meadows, we made a 
portage about sixty paces to escape going around a point which 
advances fifteen leagues into the lake ; they call it the Long 
Point. It is very sandy and produces naturally many vines." 

By the Treaty of Paris, signed February 10th, 1763, Canada 
passed under British rule. In 1788, Quebec was divided into 
five districts, the most westerly being the District of Hesse, 
and the one adjoining it on the east was named the District of 
Nassau. A line running north from the extreme end of Long 
Point was designated the dividing line between the two 
districts. Norfolk, therefore, was in the District of Hesse. 


This was the first move made toward an organized system of 
judicial administration for Western Canada. A Court of 
Common Pleas was established at Detroit with the following 
justices : Duperon Baby, Alexander McKee and William 
Robertson. There were eight justices in the district Commis- 
sion of the Peace. Gregor McGregor was appointed Sheriff', 
and Thomas Smith, Esq., Clerk of the Peace. The magistrates 
chose a situation opposite Bois Blanc Island for a district town, 
and the district surveyor began the work of surveying the 

On June 16th, 1790, Patrick McNifF reported to the Com- 
mandant at Detroit the result of an exploration which he had 
been ordered to make of the lake shore from Long Point 
westward. The only passage in the report referring to our 
own shore is the following : " On the back of Long Point, very 
good land, not so hilly as what I have passed. Timber, bass, 
black walnut and hard maple, but marshy in front for twenty 
or thirty chains/' The report was unfavorable, and orders 
were given for a survey of townships on the Thames River 
instead of on the lake shore. 

At this time a large number of U. E. Loyalists had settled 
in western Canada, and they were very much dissatisfied with 
the existing laws. This resulted in the organization of the new 
Province of Upper Canada in 1791. In July, 1792, Governor 
Simcoe divided the new province into nineteen counties, the 
sixteenth in the list being named the County of Norfolk. It 
was simply a section of unbroken wilderness stretching from 
the Grand River to the mouth of Catfish Creek. One hundred 
and twenty-two years before, Father Galinee pronounced it 
"the terrestrial paradise of Canada," and forty -four years 
before Galinee visited our shore Father Daillon had declared 
the Neutral country, which included our county area, to be more 
beautiful and better than any other " of all these countries " ; 
and yet, during all these years, no attempt was made by the 
French to establish a settlement on our shore. Indeed, when 
the County of Norfolk came into existence, in July, 1792, 


there is no evidence showing that a cabin had ever been 
erected within her present boundaries by a permanent settler. 
Shortly after this, however, our brave old Loyalist ancestors 
and other home-seekers began the work of laying Norfolk's 
foundations. Succeeding sketches in this volume tell who 
these foundation builders were, where they came from, what 
manner of men they were, and much that is of interest con- 
cerning their descendants. 



IF the tradition handed down in the first Smith family be- 
true in fact, no doubt would remain as^ to who was the first 
white man that established a residence in Norfolk, remaining 
and afterwards becoming a permanent settler. This man's 
name was William Smith, familiarly known in pioneer times 
as " Uncle Billy " Smith. He was the eldest son of old father 
Abraham Smith, who settled temporarily at Fort Erie, in 1785; 
and who came on, in 1793, to Long Point, with his family, and 
settled in the Creek valley, in the front of what became lot 15, 
5th concession of Charlotte ville. An account of father Abra- 
ham's settlement is given elsewhere. 

It is said that " Uncle Billy " left the parental roof the year 
following the settlement at Fort Erie, and wandered up into 
Long Point country where he lived among the Indians. This 
was in 1786, some four or five years previous to the earliest date- 
claimed for the first settlement. During these years William 
Smith was, no doubt, the onjy white man living in Norfolk 
County, who became, subsequently, a permanent settler. Of 
course, he frequently visited his own people, but he spent the 
most of his time among the Indians. That portion of the 
Creek valley referred to was an Indian village. The sunny 
hillside was dotted with their bark wigwams, and the Creek, 
valley resounded with the shouts of hundreds of hearty young 
" bucks " as they chased each other up and down the stream*, 
or rolled and tumbled underneath the wild plum and crab- 
apple trees. 'I he Indians of Long Point country were peace- 
fully inclined. Very few instances of treachery are recorded^ 
They, extended a welcome hand to their white brothers, anrfc 


sought their friendship when they made their first appearance 
among them. The preceding wars, resulting in the complete 
downfall of French domination on the American continent, 
had left an impression on the Indian mind that the English 
were a mighty nation governed by a powerful chief who 
;avenged all wrongs inflicted on his people, and protected those 
who were friendly towards him and treated his people as 
brothers. There is a certain dignity displayed in the Indian 
idea of bravery and tribal integrity that is admirable ; and it 
was but natural that they should be favorably impressed with 
the dignified bearing of the English, and the honor and business 
integrity which marked all their dealings with them. 

" Uncle Billy " Smith is described as a man who possessed 
peculiar and, in some ways, striking individual characteristics. 
He was as brave as a lion, and as playful and frolicsome as a 
lamb. He was as invincible as the " Rock of Gibraltar " when 
occasion required it, and yet he was as sympathetic and tender 
as a woman. His fund of good humor was inexhaustible, and 
his jovial, sunny disposition served as a sure and certain pass- 
port to the good-will of all with whom he came in contact. 
The " noble red men " like fun as well as their white brothers, 
and they were greatly amused by " Uncle Billy " and became 
his fast friends from the first. He was an athlete, and his 
marvellous feats of strength awed the Indians. He taught 
them white men's tricks, and they taught him the best known 
Indian methods of hunting, trapping, healing diseases, etc. 
He was one among; them in the chase, in their dances and 


other amusements ; in fact, he lived with them and learned a 
smattering of their language. 

" Uncle Billy " was not a large man. He was of medium 
iheight and weighed only about one hundred and sixty-five 
pounds, and yet he was a man of prodigious strength. If all 
the stories told of his wonderful lifting powers were written 
down they would fill a volume. If he had been crossgrained 
in disposition, he would have been a dangerous man, especially 
-at that time when all matters in dispute were settled at the 
-bar of fisticuffs. 


The writer of this sketch has no desire to detract, in the 
least, from the great reputation which the author of " Gulliver's 
Travels " won for spinning yarns, yet he cannot let slip the 
opportunity of repeating, for the benefit of the reader, a few of 
these wonderful stories. Those given are among the mildest 
and will do the least violence to the reader's credulity ; and, 
furthermore, they were obtained from an elderly gentleman of 
good memory, whose father was a near neighbor and intimate 
friend of " Uncle Billy." 

Hugh McCall, John Bray, Solomon Sovereign and Joseph 
Kitchen all large, powerful men were, on a certain occa- 
sion, testing their lifting pow r ers on the big bark-wheel 
used by the latter in connection with his tannery. The wheel 
was six feet in diameter, eighteen inches thick, solid, and made 
of oak timber. In addition to the weight of this ponderous 
wheel was that of the propelling shaft, or lever as it was 
called, around which the wheel revolved. When it is considered 
that this shaft was about fifteen feet long, passing through the 
wheel four feet from the outer end where the lifting was done, 
the difficulty of the task may well be imagined. One or two 
of the contesting parties were just able to lift it clear of the 
crushing floor, and while thus engaged " Uncle Billy " came 
upon the scene. He saw what the best man in the party 
could do, and then, without making a test, he offered a wager 
that he could lift it three times in succession with all four of 
them on top of the wheel. The wager was accepted, and 
" Uncle Billy " won with the greatest apparent ease. He lifted 
it three times, letting it drop with a heavy " thud " each time. 

In these early days " Jake " Sovereign kept a tavern on 
lot 15, 6th concession of Charlotteville, a little west of " Uncle 
Billy's " place. By the way, the reader must not infer that 
the venerable old ex-warden of Delhi is the man who kept 
this tavern, for he is the little grandson of the sturdy old 
pioneer who kept this pioneer tavern. Well, " Uncle Billy " 
and " Jo " Kitchen took a barrel of whisky to Jake's tavern on 
one occasion, and when they arrived "Uncle Billy" shouldered 
the cask and carried it in. The bar-room door, like all pioneer 


doors, was low, and so Billy had to double himself up to get 
through with his burden. It required Jake and two or three 
others to relieve Smith of his burden, and while the cask was 
being rolled across the floor it went crashing through and 
" fetched up " at the bottom of the hole underneath which 
served as a cellar. It is said that this same " Uncle Billy " 
Smith could pick up a fifty-gallon cask of whisky and drink 
out of the bung-hole. On one occasion, while in Gustin's mill, 
below Vittoria, he offered a wager that he could write his 
name on the side of the wall with a sixty -pound weight hang- 
ing to his little finger. He won the wager in the presence of 
several men. He was the champion back-hold wrestler in the 
settlement. There was no human vertebral column that 
could resist the force of his muscular arms. But he seldom 
exercised his great strength on hand-to-hand contests with his 
fellow-beings, not through lack of courage, for there was not a 
cowardly hair in his head, but by reason of his exceeding good- 
nature. His physical powers were brought to bear on things 
inanimate, thereby injuring no one, except, quite possibly, 

William Smith married Jane, daughter of Samuel Barber, 
the grand ancestor of the Barber family, of Townsend. He 
settled on Lot 19, 6th concession of Charlotteville, where his 
wife died, leaving him with a young family consisting of four 
sons Burdsey, Daniel, William and Joseph K., and three 
daughters Jane, Rachel and Clarissa. The home circle was 
broken up after the mother's death, and the children found 
homes among friends. Subsequently, " Uncle Billy " married 
Fanny Oaks ; and after his death she married Barney Hackett, 
of Vittoria. 

Burdsey Smith, eldest son of William, married Maria, and 
subsequently Delia, daughters of James Dolan, of New Jersey. 
He settled as a pioneer in " the land o' Goshen," Middleton, on 
Lot 12, 2nd concession, N. T. S. Here he lived until the rough 
edge of pioneer life was worn off, and then the family moved 
to Washington, 111. He left a number of sons and daughters. 

Daniel Smith, second son of William, married Mary 


Chad wick, and settled on Lot 15, 4th concession of Charlotte- 
ville. He was a deacon of the Baptist church, of Vittoria, for 
many years, and led a most exemplary life. He and his wife 
are both dead. He had five sons Primus, William, Charles, 
Arthur and Daniel ; and four daughters Maggie, Aggie, Mary 
and Ella. 

William Smith, third son of William, married Mary Robin- 
son and settled on Lot 11, 7th concession of Townsend. He 
had four sons Walter, Adaniram, Louis and William ; and 
three daughters Rebecca, Lorinda and Jane. ADANIRAM 
occupies the old homestead. All the others, including both 
parents, are dead. 

Joseph K. Smith, fourth son of William, married Sabina 
Sinden and settled on Lot 22, 13th concession of Windham. 
He was a deacon of the Fredericksburg Baptist church for a 
good many years, and no one of Windham 's pioneers led a 
more consistent Christian life, or left a cleaner record of life's 
work behind him than Deacon Joseph K. Smith. In his old 
age he retired from the farm and purchased a fine home in the 
village of Waterford, which his widow at present occupies. 
He left two daughters Mrs. Roger Crysler, of "Delhi, and Mrs. 
Samuel Cunningham, of Waterford. 

Jane Smith, eldest daughter of William, married Solomon 
Sovereign, and settled on Lot 24, 7th concession of Charlotte - 
ville. Subsequently the family moved to the western States. 
Mr. Sovereign died quite recently in California, having reached 
his ninety-sixth year. 

Rachel Smith, second daughter of William, married William 
Huff, of Port Royal, by whom she had one son, William, and 
one daughter, Ellen. Subsequently she married Jacob Bowers, 
of the same place, by whom she had several children. After 
Mr. Bowers' death the mother settled in Michigan among her 
children, where she died. 

Clarissa Smith, youngest daughter of William, married 
William Cowan, and settled on Lot 19, 4th concession of 
Charlotteville. Mr. Cowan is still living. She had five sons 


John, William, David, James and Alexander; and five daugh- 
ters Janet, Jane, Agnes, Margaret and Mary. 

As Burdsey Smith was the eldest son of Norfolk's first 
white man, and one of the Goshen pioneers, it may not be out 
of place to add a few historical notes in this connection 
pertaining to the settlement of that favored spot in the town- 
ship of Middleton. Although the township, as a whole, may 
not rank among the best in the vast territory that once consti- 
tuted London District, that portion of it known as Goshen is 
not excelled anywhere in the comfort and elegance of its 
homes or the fertility of its soil. 

The petition for the opening of a public road through this 
rich section of wilderness, known as the " Goshen Road," was 
.signed by Frederick and Henry Sovereign, James Brown, 
Peter Mabee, Chris. Buchner, Lot Tisdale, James and John 
Ronson, Geo. Byerlay, Wm. McLennan, Burdsey W. Smith and 
five Bay ham settlers. A survey was made and published 
.according to law as evidenced by the following certificate : 

" I, Francis L. Walsh, surveyor of highways for the 
County of Norfolk, make oath that I did on the 25th day of 
September, 1835, affix a copy of the foregoing report in a 
conspicuous manner on the house of George Reid, and in like 
manner on the same day did affix another copy thereof on the 
inn of Sidney Bowlby, both of Middleton, and near the com- 
mencement of said new road. 

" F. L. WALSH, H. W." 

Among the early pioneers in Goshen were John McDonald, 
the Ronsons, the Mabees, Burdsey W. Smith and Henry 
Wade. These were followed by the Shepherd, Cowan, Sand- 
ham, Jeffrey and other families. It is said that Mr. McDonald 
slept under a log every night for three weeks while chopping 
on his land, and never saw a human face during that time. 
The present home of William Shepherd was the first brick 
house erected in the township of Middleton, outside of the 
village of Delhi, the old home of James Whiteside, Esq., being 
the first. The original Goshen pioneers have all passed away, 
and but few are left of those who came later. 



ABOUT a mile and a half east of Port Rowan the lake road 
is crossed by a deep ravine. At some time in the remote past 
this ravine was caused by the action of water, and the earth 
thus washed out, suddenly, no doubt, was carried out into the 
bay, forming an immense bar which, in course of time, sent up 
a growth of vegetation. This bar, or flat, contains about 
fifteen acres, and has been cultivated for more than a hundred 
years. The oldest apple trees in Norfolk stand, unquestion- 
ably, on this flat. This flat is only a few rods from the public 
road, but the winding course of the ravine shuts off the 
traveller's view of the old orchard, the buildings, and the flat 

This secluded spot was the home of Dr. Troyer when every 
other portion of Norfolk was an unbroken wilderness. There 
is a beginning to every earthly state or condition ; and as 
there are no existing records to prove the contrary, it is 
perfectly safe to assume that the log-cabin erected by Dr. 
Troyer on this flat, was the first human habitation erected in 
Norfolk by a permanent white settler. Many people imagine 
that the public land records show who the first settlers were, 
but this is not so. The public records may show who obtained 
the first land patents in a certain locality, but they do not 
show who may have " squatted " on lands in that locality 
previously. This question of priority involves but a year or 
two at the most, and it is quite possible that one or more may 
have come with Troyer, but that no settlement antedates that 
made by him may well be assumed as a fact. When Frederick 
Mabee built the first log-cabin in Charlotteville, at the foot of 


the hill overlooking Turkey Point, Dr. Troyer lived on this 
flat. When Jabez Collver erected the first cabin in Windham, 
and before the first log was laid on the ground where the 
town of Simcoe stands, Dr. Troyer was keeping house on this 
sunny, fruitful flat ; and when old father Abraham Smith got 
ready to build his first cabin, Dr. Troyer took a day off and 
went down to give him a lift. Years before Daniel Hazen 
surveyed the township of Walsingham, the smoke had ascended 
from Dr. Troyer's cabin on this flat, and when Major Back- 
house first set foot on Walsingham soil, Dr. Troyer was looked 
upon as an old settler. As near as can be ascertained, Dr. 
Troyer built his pioneer cabin not long after the year 1790. 
He was of German descent, and came, probably, from 

Dr. Troyer was Norfolk's first medical practitioner. His 
patients were " far between," and in his case it may be truth- 
fully said that he had an " extended " practice. He was 
insanely superstitious, being a hopeless and confirmed believer 
in witchcraft. This peculiar mental malady caused him a 
world of trouble and made him ridiculously notorious. To 
prompt the recital of some witch story all that is necessary is 
to mention the name of Dr. Troyer in the presence of any old 
settler in the county. The name " Dr. Troyer " and the term 
" witches " are so interwoven in the minds of the old people 
that they cannot think of one without being reminded of the 

The old doctor was terribly persecuted by these witches. 
All his troubles of mind and body were attributed to the 
witches who existed in human form and possessed miraculous 
powers for producing evil. He looked upon certain of his 
neighbors as witches, one of the most dreaded being the 
widow of Captain Edward McMichael. Mrs. McMichael was a 
very clever woman, and to be considered a witch by the 
superstitious old doctor was highly amusing to her. She was 
a Woman of strong mind and great courage, and it is said she 
frequently visited the lonely ravine and made grimaces at the 
poor old doctor from some recess or clump of bushes, just for 


the pleasure it gave her to tease and torment him. He was a 
great stutterer, and her appearance in the ravine would throw 
him into a lit of wild excitement, during which he would 
stutter and gesticulate in a threatening manner. He was a 
great deer hunter, but if he chanced to meet Mrs. Me Michael 
when starting out on a hunting expedition he would consider 
it an omen of ill luck, and would turn about and go home. 
He kept a number of horse-shoes over the door of his house, 
.and at the foot of his bed a huge trap was bolted to the floor 
where it was set every night to catch witches. The jaws 
were about three feet long, and when shut about two and a 
half feet high. There are people in Port Rowan to-day who 
liave a distinct remembrance of having seen this witch trap in 
Dr. Troyer's bed-room. But in spite of this defensive means 
the witches would occasionally take him out in the night and 
transform him into various kinds of animals and compel him 
to perform all sorts of antics. Whenever he met with an exper- 
ience of this kind he would suffer from its effects for sometime 
afterwards. One night the witches took him out of a peaceful 
slumber, transformed him into a horse and rode him across the 
lake to Dunkirk where they attended a witch dance. They 
tied him to a post \^here he could witness the dance through 
the windows, and fed him rye-straw. The change of diet and 
the hard treatment to which he was subjected, laid him up for 
a long time. It required several doses of powerful medicine 
to counteract the "injurious effects of the rye-straw and restore 
his digestive organs to a normal condition. Strange as it may 
appear, Dr. Troyer believed all this, yet, aside from witchcraft, 
he was considered a sane man. He is described as wearing a 
long white flowing beard ; and it is said he lived to be ninety- 
nine years old, and that just before his death he shot a hawk, 
off-hand, from the peak of the barn roof. 

Deacon Michael Troyer was the only son of Dr. Troyer. The 
deacon was the principal corner stone of the Baptist church of 
Port Rowan. He was highly respected by all who knew him, 
and when he was called to his reward, having reached a ripe 
old age, his loss was felt fey the entire community in which he 


lived. He was a blacksmith, and the old blockhouse which 
served as a shop is still standing on the Troyer flat. In 1802 
he was appointed constable for Walsingham. 

He had four sons John, David, Michael and Cornelius; 
and five daughters Elizabeth, Sophronia, Catherine, Susannah,, 
and one who married Edward Bowan. Of this family, JOHN 
married Hannah Rockefeller, and settled, finally, in Illinois, 
where he died. DAVID married Mary McDermand and settled, 
finally, at Clear Creek, where he died. MICHAEL married 
Louisa Halstead and settled, finally, in Chicago, where he died. 
CORNELIUS married Malinda Rockefeller and settled at first on 
the homestead, but finally went to Illinois where he still lives. 
ELIZABETH married Christian Becker and settled at Clear 
Creek. In her family were three sons John L., Ephraim and 
Cornelius ; and two daughters Mary and Azina. SOPHRONIA 
married David Rohrer and settled in Hough ton. After Mr. 
Rohrer's death she married Samuel Pettit and settled in 
Illinois, where she still lives. CATHERINE married Robert 
Stillwell and settled in Walsingham. SUSANNAH married 
Nelson Bowan and settled in Houghton. The name of Troyer 
has become extinct in Norfolk, and but few descendants of the 
man who built the first Norfolk home remain in the county. 

Deacon Michael Troyer met with an unusual experience in 
the earlier part of his life, which is worthy of being recorded. 
He fell into a trance and was dead to all appearances for three 
days arid nights His friends, thinking he was dead, began to 
make preparations for his burial ; and if the trance had con- 
tinued a little longer he would, no doubt, have been buried 
alive. During; this trance it seemed that his soul had been 


wafted away to the regions of eternal light where it feasted 
on supernal joys. When the time came to return to earth he 
was loth to go, and he begged permission to remain ; but the 
blessed Saviour lovingly took him by the hand and informed 
him that He had a work for him to do on earth ; that he must 
go back and attend to it, and that he might then return and 
remain for ever. This experience led to his conversion. 



ONE hundred and four years ago (1793) the young Indians 
who gambolled about on the sunny flat which, at that time, lay 
in front of the high land now covered by the village of Port 
Rowan, and which extended as far as the end of the present 
pier, might have seen the smoke ascending from the bark roofs 
of the first two log-cabins erected in the township of Walsing- 
ham. The older one was the Troyer cabin, located on the flat 
about a mile and a half east of Port Rowan, and which, no- 
doubt, was the first white man's home established in Norfolk 
county. The second cabin was located about the same distance 
west of Port Rowan, and stood near the south end of the 
elevation extending into the marsh, now constituting the 
beautiful Bay View cemetery. This was the home of Lucas 
Dedrick, and there is every reason to believe that it was the 
first and only white man's home between the Troyer flat and 
the western limits of the county, in the year of our Lord, 1793. 

The " Pioneer Wheatfield," which forms the subject of one 
of these sketches, is now a part of the cemetery. That acre of 
wheat was harvested more than a hundred years ago. Little 
did Lucas Dedrick think, when he planted his first little crop 
among the stumps, that a century hence his little clearing 
would be a public cemetery in which would lie the bones of 
his great-grandchildren, and that no one among his numerous 
descendants would be able to point out the spot where his log- 
cabin stood. Although the old homestead has never passed 
into stranger's hands, no living member of the family knows 
just where the first Dedrick home in Walsingham was located. 


When the cemetery was being improved, broken bits of 
crockery were turned up afc a certain spot, and it is supposed 
that this is the place where stood the second home erected in 
the township. Well may we, the great-grandchildren of the 
old pioneers, ponder the words of the old song : 

" Where ! where will be the birds that sing 

A hundred years to come ? 
The flowers that now in beauty spring 

A hundred years to come ? 
The rosy lips, the lofty brow, 
The heart that beats so gaily now ? 
Oh, where will be love's beaming eye, 
Joy's pleasant smile, and sorrow's sigh 

A hundred years to come ? 

* l We all within our graves shall sleep 

A hundred years to come ; 
No living soul for us will weep 

A hundred years to come ; 
But other men our lands will till, 
And others then our streets will fill, 
While other birds will sing as gay, 
And bright the sun shine as to-day, 

A hundred years to come." 

When our great-grandfathers were building their log-cabins, 
" a hundred years to come " was a far-away condition of things 
too visionary to command a serious thought ; yet, before some 
of their pioneer structures have tumbled down, a hundred 
years have come and gone. It will be the same with us, and 
as we look back over the hundred to come of their time and 
behold the wonderful changes that have taken place, so will 
those do who follow us when our " hundred years to come " 
shall have added another century to the dead and buried past, 
and we, in turn, take our place among the unwept and 

When Lucas Dedrick settled on this little oasis in Big Creek 
marsh in 1793, the region was literally alive with wild game. 
Ducks, turkeys and geese were very numerous, and in the 


adjoining forest Mother Bruin reared her cubs in large numbers, 
while the fleet-footed deer leisurely grazed on the rich herbage 
of nature without fear of molestation. The Indians were 
peaceable and friendly, and, later on, when Mr. Dedrick con- 
structed a bridge over the stream which bears his name, they 
were wont to assemble on the rude structure and hold high 
carnival. One night they took a wild colt from Mr. Dedrick's 
stable, which had never been ridden, and an Indian mounted 
and rode it to Cooper's tavern for whisky. When he came 
back he was very much excited with his experience. In des- 
cribing it to -Mr. Dedrick he said, " Waugh ! but him fly. 
Blanket, him stick straight out behind ! " 

As a rule the Indians were honest and trustworthy. Mr. 
Dedrick freely loaned them whatever they asked for, and 
invariably they made returns at the time and in the manner 
agreed upon. Mr. Dedrick received his patent for the 200 
acres he settled upon in 1797. 

Lucas Dedrick came from Pennsylvania, and was of German 
descent. He had four sons John, Cornelius, James and 
Lucas ; and two daughters Catharine and Hannah. 

John Dedrick, eldest son of Lucas, was four years old when 
the family settled here. He married Harriet Fick and settled 
on the homestead. He had four sons John, William, Abraham 
and Charles ; and five daughters Jane, Catharine, Hannah, 
Harriet and Susan. They all settled in Walsingham, CHARLES 
succeeding to the front part of the old homestead. The father 
died in 1860, in his 72nd year. 

Cornelius Dedrick, second son of Lucas, married Nancy 

Spurgin, and settled on part of the homestead. He had four 

' sons Luke, Samuel, William and Austin ; and four daughters 

Hannah, Sally, Lucretia and Jerusha Jane. All settled in 


James Dedrick, third son of Lucas, married Elizabeth 
Edwards and settled on part of the homestead. He had 
twin sons Thomas and John; and three daughters Jane, 
Salome and Elizabeth. 


Lucas Dedrick, youngest son of Lucas, married Catharine 
Rohrer, and settled in the home neighborhood. He had three 
sons Cornelius, Luke and George W. ; and five daughters 
Catharine, Mary, Emma E., Nancy Amelia and Rebecca. All 
settled in Walsingham. Lucas died in 1883 in his 80th year. 

Catharine Dedrick, eldest daughter of the original Lucas, 
married Austin Stearns as his second wife. By his former 
marriage Mr. Stearns had one son, John. For many years the 
old Stearns hotel in Point Rowan was one of the best known 
public-houses in the county, and the name will always remain 
a familiar one in the history of that old and pleasantly situated 
village. Mr. Stearns had no family by his second marriage, 
and after his death his widow married Abraham Countryman,, 
an early carding-mill operator in Walsingham. By this union 
there were two daughters Valetta (Mrs. Edward Backhouse) 
and Adella (Mrs. John Alexander Coates). After the death of 
Mrs. Countryman, nee Mrs. Stearns, nee Catharine Dedrick,, 
Mr, Countryman married Clarissa Woodroof, by whom he had 
one daughter, Helen, who married Robert Biddle. Mr. Coun- 
tryman married Lucy Smith as his third wife, by whom he 
had two daughters Lavina (Mrs. Dibble) and Nettie, who- 
became the wife of Louis Fick. Being left a widower a third 
time, Mr. Countryman married Marguerette Johnson, daughter 
of William Backhouse, as his fourth wife. There were no 
children by this union. 

Hannah Dedrick, second daughter of the original Lucas, 
married John Backhouse. Her children are enumerated in the 
Backhouse genealogy. 



THE first white burial in old Charlotteville of which we 
have any account, traditional or otherwise, occurred in the 
year 1794, on the hill overlooking Turkey Point. The body 
buried was that of Frederick Mabee, the old pioneer head of 
the Mabee family. Mr. Mabee had been living on the Point 
with his family about a year previous to his death, which 
makes it almost certain that the Mabee family was one of the 
first families that settled in old Charlotteville. He was buried 
in a walnut log coffin. This rude casket was made as the old 
rain-troughs were made, and was provided with a tight-fitting 
slab which served as a lid. In after years when the remains 
were disinterred for the purpose of removal, the log coffin was 
apparently as sound as when first buried. 

Frederick Mabee was a U. E. Loyalist. Previous to the 
close of the war of the Revolution his home was in the British 
colony of Massachusetts, but when the Americans gained their 
independence, that home was confiscated and himself and 
family subjected to bitter persecution. He had fought for 
British supremacy, and although the cause he fought for had 
been lost, he would cling to the old flag and sacrifice every- 
thing rather than swear allegiance to the new Republic ; and, 
consequently, he and his fellow-colonists who had supported 
the old flag were driven out of the country with nothing bat 
their personal belongings. The Mabee family fled into New 
Brunswick and settled at St. Johns. 

The new State of Massachusetts was exceptionally severe 


with the U. E. Loyalists within her borders, subjecting them 
to most bitter persecution. After the war the legislature 
enacted a law providing for the banishment of leading Loyal- 
ists, and it is said that three hundred and ten of the most 
distinguished citizens of the old colony were banished and 
their property confiscated. Among these were some sixty 
graduates of Harvard. But the feeling of hatred that actuated 
the Americans in treating with their Loyalist fellow-colonists 
was not confined to confiscation of property and banishment 
of person, as shown by the following letter, dated October 
22nd, 1783, and addressed to a gentleman in Boston : 

" The British are leaving New York every day, and last 

week there came one of the d d refugees from New York 

to 'a place called Wall Kill in order to make a tarry with his 
parents, when he was taken into custody immediately. His 
head and eyebrows were shaved, tarred and feathered ; a hog 
yoke put on his neck, and a cow-bell thereon ; upon his head 
a very high hat and feathers were set, well plumed with 
tar, and a sheet of paper in front with a man drawn with two 
faces, representing the traitor Arnold and the devil." 

Before the war Frederick Mabee had a good home and 
kind and obliging neighbors, but during and after the war he 
and his family were subjected to all kinds of abuse. His old 
neighbors were turned into fiends, and, not satisfied with 
persecuting him and his family, they actually mutilated his 
poor dumb animals. 

There is a tradition in the family said to have been handed 
down by Mrs. Mabee to her children, which appears quite 
reasonable, and which, if true, explains how it came about that 
Frederick Mabee came to Long Point in advance of the general 
U. E. Loyalist movement, set on foot by Governor Simcoe 
about the year 1795. According to this tradition, one George 
Ramsay, a celebrated English hunter and fur-trader, had 
annually visited Long Point, while passing up and down the 
lakes, for many years previous to the first settlement. Indeed, 
it is said that this Ramsay had an encounter with the Indians 


on Long Point, while trading with them, as far back as the 
year 1760. It occurred (so the story goes) near the sand hills. 
The Indians, nine in number, seized Ramsay's liquors and 
other goods, and after becoming crazed with "fire-water," 
bound Ramsay hand and foot and determined on burning him 
alive. The attack was made in the night, and before the 
preparation for the burning was completed, the savage spirit 
succumbed to the liquid spirit of Christian civilization, and 
they decided to wait until morning. Eight of them stretched 
out in a drunken snooze around the fire, and the ninth was 
detailed to guard the prisoner. On this occasion Ramsay was 
accompanied by his nephew a mere lad, whom the savages 
did not molest. During the night the boy secured a knife and 
severed the thongs which bound his uncle ; and when thus 
freed, Ramsay made short work in sending his drunken captors 
to the " happy hunting ground," and made good his escape. 

Ramsay's home was in St. Johns. Peter Secord was a 
cousin of Frederick Mabee, and a U. E. Loyalist also. He 
accompanied the Mabee family to St. Johns, and, being an old 
hunter himself, a fellow-feeling sprang up between him and 
Ramsay at their first meeting in St. Johns. The latter invited 
Secord to accompany him on one of his trips up the lakes, and 
the invitation was gladly accepted. They visited Long Point 
and Turkey Point, and Secord was so taken up with the 
country that he made up his mind to return and settle on it, 
and induced his cousin " Feddie," as he called him, to do like- 
wise. Ramsay was well advanced in years, and this was his 
last trip. The glowing account given by Secord of the' 
abundance of game and the natural advantages of the country, 
led to a determination on the part of Frederick Mabee to 
migrate to Long Point and establish a home there. 

The Mabee party, it is said, started for Upper Canada in 
the fall of 1792, but they wintered in Quebec and did not 
reach Turkey Point until some time in 1793. They drove 
twelve cows, rode horses, and employed an Indian guide to 
pilot the way through the wilderness. 


Turkey Point was literally covered with wild-fowl when 
the family arrived there. It was a perfect bedlam of dis- 
cordant sounds. The gabble of the wild turkeys, the scream 
of the geese, and the quacking of the ducks was something 
wonderful to hear. Deer were plentiful and tame. Sturgeon 
were so plentiful along the beach that all one had to do to 
capture them was simply to knock them on the head with a 
club. The Indians on the Point at this time, it is said, were 
rather a gay lot, being very liberal in the use of paint and 
feathers. They were very fond of cow's milk, and were some- 
times inclined to help themselves. The milk was kept in 
wooden troughs, similar to sap-troughs, and whenever the 
Indians showed a disposition to help themselves, Mrs. Mabee 
would check them by waving a piece of red cloth and pointing 
over the lake. This served as a warning to them, and meant 
that if they did not behave themselves the British red-coats 
would come and drive them off the Point. 

Some members of the family claim that the settlement was 
made as early as 1791, while others say it was not made before 
1794 ; but Mrs. Mabee and her family were living there in a 
comfortable log-house at the time of Governor Simcoe's visit in 
1795. The grave of Frederick Mabee was there also, and a 
piece of ground known as the " Indian fields " had been cleared> 
of its light growth of timber and cropped ; all of which makes 
it appear quite reasonable that the family may have settled 
there, at least, as early as 1793. 

The Mabee party consisted of Frederick Mabee and wife ; 
Oliver Mabee, their eldest son, aged about nineteen ; Simon, the 
second son, aged about seventeen ; Pellum, the youngest son, 
aged about twelve at least, these were the ages of the sons at 
the time of the Governor's visit ; two single daughters Polly 
and Sally; and two married daughters Nancy and Lydia, 
with their respective husbands John Stone and Peter Teeple. 
It is said that Peter Secord, also, came with the Mabee family. 
Mrs. Mabee was awarded 600 acres of land, comprising 
Lots 8, 9 and 10 in the lake front of Charlotteville. Subse- 


quently, she married John B. Hilton, of New York, but he died 
three years after the marriage. 

The genealogy of the Oliver branch of the Mabee family is 
given elsewhere under the title, " An Old Pioneer Deacon," and 
that of the Pellum branch is given under the title, " The Boy 
who Waited on the Governor." 

Simon Mabee, second son of Frederick, was born in 1778, 
and was about fifteen years old when the family settled on 
Turkey Point. In 1799, he married Abigail', daughter of John 
Gustin, and, for a time, owned the land upon which the larger 
and better portion of the old village of Vittoria is built. 
Simon Mabee possessed a religious* nature. He was emotional, 
warm-hearted and sympathetic ; and early in life gave himself 
up to the work of preaching the gospel. Among the early 
pioneer preachers who visited the little settlements throughout 
old London District, no man was better known or more highly 
respected than Simon Mabee. It is said he gave that old 
pulpit war-horse of later pioneer times Elder McDermand 
his first lessons in ministerial work. He finally settled in 
Oxford County where he raised his family. He had four sons 
Samuel H., Walter B., John G. and Oliver D.; and eight 
daughters Elizabeth, Anna, Nancy, Susanna S., Kachel C., 
Abigail, Lavinia and Mary. 

Elder Mabee's eldest son, SAMUEL H., settled in the States. 
WALTER B. was twice married. He settled itear Beach ville and 
had two sons Simeon and Walter; and seven daughters 
Abigail, Anna, Frances, Rachel, Alice, Catharine and Martha. 
JOHN G. died in childhood. OLIVER D. married Samantha, 
daughter of Aaron Barber, and settled in Goshen. By this 
union he had one son, Aaron; and two daughters, Abigail 
and Elizabeth. Subsequently, he married Mary Ward, by 
whom he had one son, Charles Byron. Mr. Mabee died in 
1896, in Tennessee, in his 80th year. ELIZABETH married 
Absolem Burtch, and settled at Burtch's Landing on the Grand 
River. ANNA married Levi Burtch, settled in Oxford and 
left no children. NANCY married Eli Sage, and settled near 


Ingersoll. SUSANNA S. married Philander King, and settled at 
Marshall, Mich. RACHEL C. married John Clark, and settled 
near Woodstock. ABIGAIL married Charles Harris, and settled 
near Ingersoll. LAVINIA married Jacob McMichael, and settled 
in Townsend. MARY died in childhood. 

Polly and Sally Mabee, the two daughters of the original 
Frederick, who came to Long Point single, married respectively 
David Secord and Silas Montross. The former was a miller at 
Niagara, and the latter's family genealogy is given elsewhere. 
The Teeple and Stone families were prominent factors in the 
early days of the settlement, but they are unknown to the 
present generation of Norfolk citizenship. 

More than a hundred years have come and gone since 
Frederick Mabee was laid to rest in his rude coffin. To-day 
his great-grandsons are found in the ranks of busy men, scat- 
tered all over the American continent, and his great-great- 
grandchildren occupy seats in nearly every school-house in the 
land. In fact, these descendants have become so numerous- 
and so widely scattered that they meet as strangers, never 
dreaming that the old pioneer mother who pounded corn in 
the hollow of a white-oak stump on Turkey Point more than a. 
hundred years ago, was their common maternal ancestor. 



OUR pioneer Loyalist forefathers were subjected to a wide 
range of experiences. They left the new Republic at the close 
of the war in various ways, and according to family tradition 
one man was carried out of New Jersey in a box as freight by 
his wife. This man's name was Abraham Smith. It is not 
claimed that old father Abraham was the father of all the 
Smiths. This would appear too much like trying to " get a 
corner " on the human family. It is claimed, however, that he 
was the father of the first family of Smiths that settled in 
Long Point country. Why was he boxed up ? Well, Abraham 
Smith, who had emigrated from England to the British Colony 
of New Jersey, and had established a home there, fought for 
the maintenance of British supremacy when the colonies threw 
off their allegiance in 1776. For this offence he was given a 
certain number of days to either take the oath of allegiance to 
the new Republic or leave the State. Failing to get away 
within the prescribed time, his wife, who was a large, muscular 
Dutch woman, concealed him in a box, and in this way got 
him out of the country. The journey from New Jersey to 
New Brunswick for a woman in those times, burdened with a 
family of children, and a heavy box of freight, was no small 
task. After remaining a short time in New Brunswick they 
resolved to migrate to Western Canada. They reached Fort 
Erie about the year 1785 ; and it was while making this 
tedious journey that their youngest son, Abraham second, was 
born, being eight weeks old when they pitched their tent in 
the wilderness near the fort. The infantile Abraham was a 


great curiosity to the "noble red men," and when the first 
opportunity presented itself they captured him and carried 
him away into the forest. A search was instituted which 
resulted in finding him safe and sound, and none the worse for 
his three days' captivity. Owing to the difficulty he experi- 
enced in after years, in his communications with the Indians, 
he often expressed a feeling of regret that his parents had 
rescued him, as then he would have grown up among them 
and would have been able to speak their language. 

Father Abraham's family consisted of six sons William, 
Jesse, Solomon, Isaac, Samuel and Abraham ; and five daugh- 
ters Abigail, Charity, Hannah, Rachel and Mary. William, 
the eldest son, left the parental roof of bark at Fort Erie, and 
came up through the wilderness to Long Point country, where 
he lived with the Indians. In sketch " Charlotteville's First 
White Man " an account of him is given. 

That portion of Young's Creek Valley included in lot 15, 
5th concession of Charlotte ville, was an Indian village. Here 
William Smith made it his home with the Indians until the 
family came up, in 1793, and settled on the lot. For awhile 
the family lived as the Indians lived, but as soon as circum- 
stances permitted a substantial log-house was erected on the 
bank of the creek. Every settler within twenty miles was 
invited to this "house raisen;" and Mr. Smith, who took one 
of the " corners," was the last survivor of the " corner men " 
at the " raisen." Abraham Smith built the first frame barn in 
the township, which is still standing. He was a wheelwright 
by trade, and some years later he constructed a horse-power 
mill for crushing grain. One of the stones used in this mill 
was placed in a hearth in the old house built by his son 
Abraham. It was afterwards removed and placed in the 
bottom of a well. Hiram, son of Abraham second, and late 
owner of the old homestead, attempted to bring the old stone 
once again to the surface, but the well caved in and the stone 
remains there still. Hiram is in possession of the old arm 
chair made by father Abraham when he sojourned in the land 


of the " Jersey ites." It is very spacious, but it is said that 
" granny " Smith completely filled it. 

The family suffered great privation at first. It was hard 
work and very little to eat and wear. Land had to be cleared 
before the seed could be sown, and then the seed had to sprout, 
and the plant develop and ripen before returns were had. 
Heads of unripe grain were pulled off, crushed with the hands 
and eaten. Mrs. Smith baked bread for the sailors who passed 
up and down the lake. The flour was carried through the 
woods from the lake shore to the Smith home, and the bread 
returned in the same manner. The exchange was made pound 
for pound ; and inasmuch as a pound of flour with the added 
water, etc., made more than a pound of bread, a certain amount 
of " leavings " accrued to the benefit of the baker. The family 
brought two cows with them, and so precious was the milk that 
the children would eagerly lick up every drop when accident- 
ally spilled upon the floor. There was plenty of game, it is 
true, but in 1793 firearms and ammunition were mighty scarce 
in Charlotteville. On one occasion the cows strayed away in 
the woods, and Isaac went in search of them. He took his bow 
and arrows with him and brought home a fine lot of game. 
This was the kind of guns and ammunition they had to kill 
their game with. 

During this early experience only one instance of Indian 
treachery occurred. One night an Indian sought and obtained 
permission to lie on the hearth before the big fire-place. In 
the night he arose from his stone couch and, revealing an 
ugly-looking knife which had been secreted about his person, 
stealthily approached Mr. Smith's bed, with evil intentions, 
no doubt ; but Smith had his eyes open, and was on the alert, 
and at the opportune moment he sprang out of bed and 
seized him, wresting the knife from his hand and expelling 
him from the cabin. When the Indians heard of it the next 
day their indignation knew no bounds, and if the scoundrel 
had not suddenly taken his departure he would have received 
rough treatment at their hands. Abraham, the younger, was 


about eight years old during this first cruel pinch of privation, 
and he used to tell his children of an Indian dumpling which 
he found. It was hard and mouldy, but he said it was the 
sweetest morsel he ever tasted. 

The family came up through the forest from Fort Erie, and 
the only sign of a human habitation seen between the Niagara 
river and their place of destination, was a partially-roofed log 
hut which stood somewhere within the present limits of 
Simcoe. Father Abraham was a pioneer and the father of 
pioneers. He died in 1809 in his 73rd year, and his wife 
Rachel died in 1831 in her 72nd year. If Abraham second, 
who was the last baby in this family, were living he would be 
one hundred and twelve years old. 

Each son and daughter of this old U. E. Loyalist received a 
grant of Government land. ISAAC settled on the Otter Creek, 
near the present village of Vienna, where he raised a family. 
JESSE sold his U. E Loyalist grant to Oliver Mabee in an 
early day, and settled on the Grand River, in Kent County, 
Mich., not far from the city of Grand Rapids. He raised a 
family at this place. SOLOMON settled on Talbot street, in 
Malahide, where he was killed by a tree falling .on him. He 
left a family of small children, who finally settled in the States. 

Samuel Smith settled and remained in Charlotteville. The 
genealogy of his family is given in sketch " A Pioneer Mother 
who weighed Four Hundred Pounds." 

Abigail Smith, eldest daughter of Father Abraham, married 
John Gustin. Her children are enumerated in the Gustin 
family genealogy. 

Charity Smith, second daughter of Father Abraham, 
married a Havens, and settled in Charlotteville. By this 
union she had three sons Abraham, William and Robert. The 
latter succeeded to the Havens homestead. After the death of 
Mr. Havens, Charity married Levi Churchell, of Charlotteville, 
and had one son, Levi. 

Hannah Smith, third daughter of Father Abraham, married 
Victor Brown. A sketch of his life is given in the Brown 
family genealogy. 


Rachel Smith, fourth daughter of Father Abraham, married 
Robert Shearer. Her children are enumerated in the Shearer 
family genealogy. 

Mary Smith, youngest daughter of Father Abraham, 
married Oliver Mabee. Her children are enumerated in the 
Mabee family genealogy. 

Abraham Smith, youngest son of Father Abraham, suc- 
ceeded to the old homestead. He was twice married. By his 
first wife, Sarah Baker, he had two sons Abraham and David ; 
and four daughters Rachel, Hannah, Sarah Ann and Rebecca. 
By his second wife, Anna Baker, he had two sons Isaac and 
Hiram ; and three daughters Eva, Rhoda and Harriet. 

Rev. Abraham Smith, eldest son of Abraham, was a Baptist 
preacher. He was married three times, but he raised his large 
family with his first wife, Jane Baker, on his old homestead 
near New Sarum, in the township of Yarmouth. He died in 
Aylmer at a good old age, leaving four sons Hosea, Johnson, 
Judson and Arthur ; and seven daughters Sarah, Ann, Julia, 
Salema, Hannah, Naoma and Minnie. All but one or two of 
this family are in the States. 

David Smith, second son of Abraham, was born in 1824. 
He married Hannah E. Slingerland, and settled at Houghton 
Centre. He finally moved to North Dakota and settled in the 
Turtle Mountain district, where his family are now living. He 
died during the present year in his seventy-third year, leaving 
four sons Hiram, Abraham, George and Charles ; and four 
daughters Mary A., Rhoda A., Emily A. and Grace D. 

Rachel Smith, eldest daughter of Abraham, married Orin 
Rogers and settled at Boston. She died young, leaving no 

Hannah Smith, second daughter of Abraham, married 
Joseph Johnson and settled at Boston. Mr. Johnson was the 
son of Mary Sitts, whose sad history is given elsewhere in 
this series. 

Sarah Ann Smith, third daughter of Abraham, married 
Anthony Upper, and settled finally at Ottisville, Mich. In this 


family were five sons Abraham, Charles, Peter, Joseph and 
Zephaniah ; and four daughters Anna, Nancy, Amelia and 

Rebecca Smith, fourth daughter of Abraham, married John, 
eldest son of Deacon Joseph Kitchen, of Charlotteville, and 
settled in Windham, near Delhi. They are both living. She 
is the mother of two daughters Rozena, the wife of R. M. 
Wilson ; and Cynthia Alice, the wife of L. C. McConnell, of 

Isaac Smith, eldest son of Abraham (by his second wife), 
was twice married. By his first wife (Abigail, daughter of 
Peter Mabee) he had two daughters Agnes and Minnie ; and 
by his second wife (Sarah Johnson) he had two sons Herbert 
and I. D.; and two daughters Abigail and Eliza. The family 
settled at Galesburg, 111. Both father and mother are dead. 

Hiram Smith, youngest son of Abraham, by his second 
wife, succeeded to the old homestead. He was also twice 
married. By his first wife, Mary Johnson, he raised a large 
family, all girls but one, Arthur. By his second wife he has 
several children. 

Eva Smith, eldest daughter of Abraham (by his second wife), 
married William Monroe, and settled in Charlotteville. She 
had one son. Arthur, who is a grocer in St. Thomas. Subse- 
quently, she married Israel Woodley and settled near Benton 
Harbor, Mich., where she died. 

Rhoda Smith, second daughter of Abraham (by his second 
wife), married Peter Mabee, son of Peter, and settled in Char- 
lotteville. She had one son, William, who was recently elected 
Judge of Probate in a county in Montana. 

Harriet Smith, the youngest daughter of Abraham, married 
Charles 0. Learn, of Yarmouth. She has two sons Charles 
and Cecil ; and one daughter, Stella. The family is living in 

The pioneer father of this numerous branch of the Smith 
family died in 1863, aged seventy-six. His wife, Sarah, died 
in 1837, aged forty-eight ; and his second wife, Anna, died in 
1860, aged fifty-five. 



IT is not generally known that Turkey Point was at first 
designed as the commercial and governmental metropolis of 
Upper Canada. The man who made this designation was 
Sir John Graves Simcoe, the first Governor of Upper Canada. 
He had a most wonderful faith in the future of the new 
province, and he was indefatigable in his efforts to open up the 
country and attract thereto the best class of settlers. One 
important work undertaken by him a work which was the 
means of opening up the interior of the western peninsula of 
the Province to rapid settlement was the building of a road 
from Niagara to Amherstburg. It was a big undertaking in 
the primitive condition of things at that time, and in order to 
aid in the raising of means to carry it on, large tracts of land 
lying along the proposed line of road were sold to colonies of 
settlers. A good share of the township of Norwich was sold 
in this way to a colony of Pennsylvania Quakers. The first 
Upper Canada Parliament convened at Newark, but an 
American fort standing on the opposite bank of the Niagara 
River detracted from the pleasing effect of the landscape view, 
and a change of location was deemed advisable. This was the 
state of affairs when the Governor visited Norfolk in 1795. 
He was engaged in the preliminary work of his great pioneer 
thoroughfare, and came down through the forest to the lake 
shore. The Mabee family had " squatted " on Turkey Point, 
being one of the very few families who had pioneered their 
way into the Long Point country at this time. 

The Governor was very much pleased with Turkey Point. 


The beach was much wider then, giving it the appearance of a 
iine esplanade ; and when viewed from the high bank on the 
mainland, with its park of evergreens in the rear, it presented 
.a charming picture of nature. And then it must be remem- 
bered that the adjacent upland desert of sand had not yet been 
-exposed to view. It was carpeted with leaves and shaded 
with a light growth of forest trees. This sparsity of timber 
growth indicated easy work for the settler, and made a most 
favorable impression on the mind of the Governor, who had 
come down through the almost impenetrable forests of Oxford 
county. Timber possessed no commercial value in those days. 
It was looked upon as the great impediment in the way of 
.settlement, and the lightly timbered sections offered the greatest 
inducements to settlers. Hence it is that the poorest sections 
were the first settled upon the reason for which is often a 
matter of wonderment with the young people of our day. 

Governor Simcoe determined to make Turkey Point a town 
of great importance, and a Reservation was made for a town 
site and government buildings. The new town was named 
"The Town of Charlotteville," and the survey of a public 
thoroughfare ordered, connecting the new town with the 
Governor's Road. The surveyors were instructed to begin at 
the south-east angle of the township of Blenheim, in the county 
of Brant, thence running in as straight a line as the topography 
of the country would permit to the " Town of Charlotteville." 
The survey was made, but, owing to a miscalculation, the lake 
shore was reached some four and a half miles east of the Point, 
near Port Ryerse. 

The Reservation having been made in 1795 by Governor 
Simcoe, instructions were given to Thomas Welch, in 1798, by 
the Surveyor-General, " to take a sketch of the ground above 
the Point which may be suitable for a town." He was in- 
structed that " the ground immediately above Mrs. Mabee's old 
house " had been set aside for that purpose. He was advised 
" to have regard to such a situation as may be fit for barracks 
and such other accommodations as may be looked for in pro- 
viding space for a small fort." 


The old diary kept by Lady Simcoe during her husband's 
term of office has been preserved, and it .contains the following 
entry pertaining to the Governor's visit at Turkey Point : 

"September 12th, 1795. The Governor returned and is far 
from well. He was pleased with Long Point, which he calls 
Charlotte Villa; the banks on the lake, 150 feet high; on the 
.shore grew weeping willows covered with vines." 

The term " Long Point " is either meant for Turkey Point 
or for the section of country bordering on Long Point bay. 
This entire section from the dawn of the settlement has always 
been designated " the Long Point country," and this idea may 
have been on the mind of Lady Simcoe when she recorded this 

In 1801 an Act was passed which provided " that the 
Courts ot Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the District of 
London should be holden in the Town of Charlotteville on the 
second Tuesday of the months of March, June, September and 
December." At this time no building of any kind had been 
erected in the Town of Charlotteville. 

The Town of Charlotteville antedates the Township of 
Charlotteville. It is necessary to understand this in order to 
know where, and what, the Town of Charlotteville was. When 
Governor Simcoe laid it out and named it in honor of Queen 
Charlotte, there was no township of Charlotteville. The name 
was given to the proposed town; and when the township 
lying back of, and including, Turkey Point, was surveyed, it 
was named after the town. 

Turkey Point was so named on account of the great number 
of turkeys and other wild fowl found there. It is described as 
being a veritable hunter's paradise at the time the Mabee 
family squatted there. 

A portion of the town site having been thus made a public . 
reserve, it became, as before stated, the district town of 
London District. When the district was organized in 1800, 
the courts were held at the house of James Monroe for the 
reason that no other house in the settlement was sufficiently 
commodious for the purpose; but shortly afterwards, Job Loder 


built a public-house in the Town of Charlotte ville, and when 
the Court was established there it was at first held in Loder's 
house. The first Court held at Turkey Point was the fall term 
of 1802, which convened on the 14th day of September. 

A log jail was erected on the public ground made of squared 
white oak logs. The timbers had been laid up, but the struc- 
ture was not completed. On the 25th day of June, 1803, the 
contract was let to James Monroe to finish it for 62 10s., 
provincial currency. The contract specifications were as follows : 

" The under floor, the sides, the ceiling, and the partition 
between the two rooms are to be laid and ceiled with inch and 
a half oak planks to be rabbeted and lapped, and spiked with 
250 pounds of spikes of three inches in length, well headed and 
placed and drove regularly at proper distances from each other. 
A floor to be laid above the ceiling with inch and a quarter 
pine boards. The building is to be shingled and weather- 
boarded with pine boards. Two doors are to be put in the 
jail one to each room of the same size of that at the old jail ,* 
also a window to each room, that window at the old jail to be 
cut and prepared so as to make the two windows for the new 
jail ; the whole to be finished in a workman like manner as 
soon as it can possibly be done the whole of the materials to 
be furnished by Mr. Monroe ; and one of the rooms to be 
finished, at least, proper for the reception of prisoners at or 
before the time of the setting of the next Court of Assizes in 
and for this district." 

The " old jail " referred to in the above specifications, the 
window of which was to be taken out and converted into two 
windows for the new structure, was the one built on the farm 
of Lieut. James Monroe. It stood in the woods south of " old 
Fort Monroe," within a few rods of the 4th concession line. 
Many years afterwards the logs of the old jail were used in the 
construction of a stable on the opposite lying lot. 

From September, 1802, to sometime in the winter of 1803, 
the Quarter Sessions were held at the house of Job Loder. 
During this time Job Loder was the Mayor and Board of 
Aldermen of the Town of Charlotteville and his tavern was 
the capital of London District. He was appointed jailer, and 
this made him " turnkey " of the whole town. 


At a special session held October 4, 1803, the following 
entry was made in the Court journal : 

"His Majesty's Justices proposed and agreed to have a 
court-house erected on the public ground at the Town of 
Charlotteville, of the following description and size, that is to 
say : A frame building, forty feet in length by twenty-six feet 
in width, to be two stories high, the first or lower story to be 
ten feet between floor and ceiling, and the second or upper 
story to be eight feet high. The building to be erected on a 
foundation of white oak timber squared, the same to be sound 
and of sufficient thickness. The building to be shingled and 
to have two sufficient floors, an entry of eight feet wide to be 
made from the front door across one end of the lower story, 
from which winding stairs are to be erected to the second 
story, two rooms are to be partitioned off in the second story 
for the jurors. Nine windows are to be made in front and ten 
in rear, of twenty -four lights, each 7x9. The front door to be 
made of inch and a half plank, six panels, and to have a good 
sufficient lock and key. Two windows are to be finished in 
the first story opposite each other so as to afford sufficient light 
to the bar, besides two windows of fifteen lights each behind 
the judge or chairman's seat. The rest of the windows are to 
be cased and nailed up for the present. The bar, table, justices' 
seat, benches for the bar, and a table for each jury-room and 
benches for the same, are to be finished. The three inside 
doors to be temporary. A seat and writing-table for the clerk 
to be made between the bench and the bar. 

" Note. The house to be raised, shingled and weather- 
boarded and floored, the bench for the judge and justices, the 
judge or chairman's writing desk, clerk's seat and table, the 
bar and table and benches therefor, the entry, the stairs, the 
two jury rooms and tables and benches therefor, the four 
windows below and two above, to be finished, and the other 
three temporary doors to be made and hung. This compre- 
hends the present contract proposed by the Court to be per- 
formed by the next Assizes for the district." 

Tenders were called for, and on December 16th the following 
proposals were received in open court : Alexander Hutchinson, 
at 28 1 5s.; Job,Loder, at 250 ; and Jacob Bayard, at 234 7s. 6d. 
Bayard's tender was the lowest, but the mode of payment was 
not satisfactory to him and he withdrew his tender, leaving 
Mr. Loder in the lead. A contract was accordingly drawn up 


between Mr. Loder of the one part, and William Spurgin, 
Peter Teeple and Elias Foster, of the other part. 

The constables who served in the new court-house were not 
provided with staves until the year 1805. On the 13th of June 
in that year the following entry was made in the Court journal : 

" It is ordered that twelve staves for constables in the 
district be procured, to be seven feet in length and one inch 
and three quarters in thickness, with the name of a township 
on each staff in plain, legible letters. John Benson, joiner,, 
agrees to make them ready for use at the next Quarter Sessions, 
at two shillings and sixpence, lawful money, for each staff r 
which the Court agrees to allow him to be paid by the 
District Treasurer." 

We are led to infer from this Court order that there were 
only twelve organized townships in all London District at 
this time, namely : Charlotteville, Walsingham, Woodhouse, 
Townsend, Windham, Walpole, Rainham, Blenheim, Burford, 
Oxford, Delaware and, probably, Westminster. These town- 
ships are named in the order of their importance as indicated 
by the record of business transacted by the District Quarter 
Sessions at this time. 

June 10th, 1807, the Court ordered "that Silas Montross 
shall have the liberty of the lot on which the court-house 
stands for the space of one year and as much longer as their 
authority may extend ; " but it does not appear to what use 
Mr. Montross put the liberty granted. 

James Monroe did not live to finish the jail at the Town 
of Charlotteville, as evidenced by the following Court order 
of June 10th, 1807: 

" It is ordered by the Court that one hundred dollars be 
paid out of the treasury for what work is done to jail, and the 
heirs of James Monroe, or his executors, are to quit the work 
and the contract drawn in 1803 to cease." 

Up to this time there had been no record kept of business 
accounts, and on the 8th of September following, the Court 
ordered that a book be procured in which to keep all accounts 
of the future, and also those of the past as far as it is possible 
to obtain them. 


When the war of 1812 broke out the court-house was used 
for barrack purposes, and one more public structure was added 
to the Town of Charlotteville. This was a fort, which was 
christened " Fort Norfolk." 

Fort Norfolk was substantially constructed. It was enclosed 
with a double wall built of hewed oak timbers a foot square, 
with a six feet space between solidly packed with earth. 
Before it was completed a detachment of the 19th Light 
Dragoons, about fifty in number, were forwarded, and during 
the interval pending its completion the soldiers were quartered 
in Vittoria, near the spot where the brick residence of Joseph 
McCall stands. When peace was declared Fort Norfolk was 
abandoned ; but, owing to a blunder of some one in authority, 
a few twelve-pound cannon were left in the fort. Some of the 
old people will remember the cannon that played an important 
part in the old Fourth of June trainings, and which was sup- 
posed to belong to John McCall. This was one of those left 
in the fort, but it was subsequently reclaimed and taken, with 
the others, to Kingston. 

The court house, jail, the fort, and the tavern of Job Loder 
all stood on the elevation above the flat. A hotel was built 
under the hill and kept by a man named Hatch. In 4833, 
during the cholera scare, a hospital was built at this place. It 
stood on the bank and was a barn-like structure, and was used 
but little, if at all, for the purpose for which it was built. The 
old Town of Charlotteville reached the zenith of its glory 
during the war. Temporary quarters for the officers dotted 
the hillside, and it was the scene of much activity. 

In 1815 the District Courts were removed to Vittoria, and >< 
the Town of Charlotteville relapsed into Turkey Point once 
more. No traces of its old-time importance remain, save a few 
surface irregularities indicating the spot occupied by the fort, 
As we view the cities, towns and villages that dot the territory 
once known as London District, it is hard to believe that the 
dreary waste at Turkey Point was, for thirteen years, the 
judicial metropolis for all this vast region of country. 



A LITTLE more than a hundred years ago Norfolk was an 
unbroken wilderness. During all the preceding centuries her 
area, now checked off into fertile, productive fields, and dotted 
with comfortable homes, lay in the lap of nature, subject only 
to the action of natural forces. No sound of civilization had' 
ever disturbed the quiet solitude of her wooded valleys or 
reverberated along her shaded hillsides. No " click" of the 
settler's axe, or clarion note of that harbinger of the dawn of 
civilization the chanticleer had ever been heard in Norfolk 
a little over a hundred years ago. But the time came when 
the westward march of civilization demanded a surrender on 
the part of the " noble red man " of the wigwam villages and 
favorite hunting grounds of this interior portion of the New 
World. The transition of our county from a condition of 
primeval forest to a high state of cultivation and refinement, 
in one short century, is something wonderful to contemplate. 
The cause of this marvellous effect is traceable to the superior 
qualities of our old pioneer stock. All honor to our brave old 
pioneers. They have all been laid to rest, but their children 
and their children's children have not forgotten the privations 
they suffered, the Christian altars they erected in their rude 
cabins, their patient industry, their love of home and the land 
of their adoption, and their strong faith in God which enabled 
them to persevere in the face of difficulties and overcome the 
obstacles which lay in their rough and uneven pathway. 

Such a man was Jabez Culver, the pioneer Presbyterian 
preacher, and paternal head of one of Norfolk's best and most 


numerous families. In the early days of the American 
colonies, it is said that three Culver brothers emigrated from 
England to America, settling in the colony of Connecticut. 
The grandparents of Jabez Culver moved from Connecticut 
into New Jersey and were buried in the Culver burying 
ground near Schooley's mountain, about 136 years ago. The 
father of Jabez was buried in the family burying ground near 
Chester, Morris County. Jabez moved from Morris County into 
Sussex County where he owned considerable property. Culver's 
Lake and Culver's Gap, in that county, were named after 
Jabez Culver who owned the adjoining lands. He was a 
Presbyterian minister, and was pastor of a congregation near 
Deckertown, N.J., that worshipped in the " Beemer meeting- 
house." It is said that during the war of the Revolution, 
Rev. Jabez Culver's sympathies were all on the side of the 
British, but being subjected to an overpowering American 
influence, and being the owner of considerable real estate, he 
chose the Bible in preference to the sword, and joined Wash- 
ington's army as chaplain. Thus he was enabled to minister 
to the spiritual needs of the rebels without materially aiding 
in the overthrow of the British. 

When the new province of Upper Canada was organized, it 
is said that Jabez Culver journeyed from New Jersey to 
Newark on horseback, to consult with Governor Simcoe as to 
terms of settlement in the new province. The Governor knew 
the value of the man who came to see him, and he knew that 
the numerous Culver family and their many family connec- 
tions in New Jersey would make the very best stock that 
could be obtained in his work of laying the foundation of a 
prosperous British commonwealth, and it is said he promised 
Mr. Culver a grant of 600 acres of land for himself, 400 acres 
for each of his married children, and 200 acres for each 
unmarried child. 

Rev. Jabez Culver's children were all born in New Jersey. 
One son, Nathan, met with a remarkable experience. He fell 
into a kind of trance, and was spirited away where he saw a 


vision of the eternal world, which made such a vivid impres- 
sion on his mind that it broke down his unbelief and led to his 
conversion. An account of this vision was published by his 
father after Nathan's death. One strange thing connected 
with the vision was the alleged fact of his being entrusted 
with a message of warning from the spiritual world to his 
brother-in-law, Stephen Kent. Kent was young, hale and 
hearty, but the message informed him that his death was near 
at hand, and it warned him to prepare for it. In two short 
months the summons came. He was accidentally drowned. 
This is a well authenticated fact, and it gives the vision a 
serious signification, to say the least. 

Kev. Jabez Culver came to Norfolk in 1794. He settled on 
lot 1, 12th concession of Windham, and erected the first log 
house in the township. He had thirteen children, eight of 
whom seven sons and one daughter came to Norfolk with 

The Culver party included several families, making up a 
good-sized caravan. They brought a number of horses, several 
cows and some hogs with them ; and during the journey were 
frequently attacked by the wolves. Nathan Culver had 
previously died in New Jersey, leaving a little son about four 
years old, who was adopted by his grandfather. While camp- 
ing in the Grand River swamp this little fellow, who's name 
was Jabez B., sat on a huge rattlesnake, but one of his uncles 
succeeded in rescuing him without serious consequences. It is 
said that Long Point settlement contained but five families 
when the Culver party arrived, the Troyer, Mabee and 
Smith families being three of them. The present site of 
Brantford contained three houses, and near the spot where 
Jabez Culver erected his log cabin, a family named Cooley 
had squatted. This family bore an unsavory reputation, and 
the glow of advancing civilization soon drove them back into 
the shadow of unknown regions. The lands taken up by the 
Culvers were heavily timbered, and during the first two or 
three years the marsh grass on Turkey Point was utilized as a 


common pasture ground. The young cattle and farrow cows 
were wintered on the Point, the young men alternating with 
each other as herdsmen 

Rev. Jabez Culver was ever an indefatigable worker as an 
ambassador of the Cross. He was Norfolk's first ordained 
preacher of the Gospel. He rode in a rude cart, consisting of a 
home-made wooden axle-tree, to which was attached a pair 
of shafts and the two front wheels of a " Jersey " linch-pin 
lumber waggon. A rope seat was arranged over the axle-tree 
and a bell was attached to the horse, so that while that animal 
was picking his own living during the hours of religious 
service, it might be easily found when the time came for 
jogging along to the next "appointment." As settlement 
advanced, he organized a congregation at Turkey Point, one 
in Windham, and, later on, another in Oakland. When he 
was no longer able to travel from place to place, he sat in a 
chair in his own house and preached. In 1807 he wrote a 
lengthy account of his conversion and call to the ministry. 
This manuscript is preserved and in possession of Nelson 
Culver, of Normandale. A copy of Nathan Culver's vision is 
also in Mr. Culver's possession. Rev. Jabez Culver was 
ordained in 1760 in New Jersey, and yet the London District 
Court refused, in 1800, to grant him a license to marry, although 
a portion of his congregation went into court and acknow- 
ledged him as their pastor. The following year, however, the 
court granted him a license after he had taken the oath of 
allegiance. He died December 29th, 1818, in his 88th year, 
and Anna, his wife, died March 10th, 1813, in her 74th year. 
In the old pioneer's family were nine sons Ebenezer, Jabez, 
Nathan, Aaron, John, Michael, Gabriel, Griffith and Benjamin ; 
and four daughters Phoebe, Anna, Freelove and Hannah. 

Ebenezer Culver, eldest son of Jabez, was born in 1756. 
He settled in Welland, and had one son and two daughters. 

Nathan Culver, second son of Jabez, was born in 1764. He 
died in New Jersey in 1792, leaving, as before stated, an 
infant son, Jabez B., who was adopted in his grandfather's 


Jabez B. Culver, only son of Nathan, was born in New 
Jersey in 1789, and was not five years old when his grand- 
father's family came to Norfolk. He married Hannah Bacon 
and settled in Windham. In his family were six sons 
Nathan, Mahlon, Allen, William, Eli and Jabez; and five 
daughters Clarissa, Malissa, Cricena, Miriam and Nancy. He 
died in 1841, in his 53rd year. The children of Jabez B. 
Culver, who are living, have passed into the " sere and yellow 
leaf" of a ripe old age. and yet they are the great-grand- 
children of the old Windham pioneer. 

Michael Culver, sixth son of the original Jabez, was born in 
1772, and died in New Jersey at the age of eighteen, four 
years before the family came to Norfolk. 

Griffith Culver, seventh son of Jabez, was born in 1778, and 
was sixteen years old when the Norfolk settlement was made. 
He settled in the Western States. 

Benjamin Culver, youngest son of Jabez, was- born in 1780, 
and was fourteen years old when the family left New Jersey. 
W T hen he was twenty-seven he was appointed constable for 
Windham by the Court at Turkey Point. He settled in Ohio, 
where he died single. 

Phoebe Culver, eldest daughter of the original Jabez, was 
born in 1757. There is no note of her death in the old family 
registry, and it is supposed she remained in New Jersey. If 
she was alive when the family left New Jersey she would have 
been thirty-seven years old. 

Anna Culver, second daughter of Jabez, was born in 1759, 
and, if living, was thirty-five years old when the family came 
to Canada. 

Freelove Culver, third daughter of Jabez, was born in 
1762. fehe married Michael Sho.if in New Jersey, and came to 
Upper Canada with her husband and family when the Culvers 

Michael Shoaf was one of the mud-sills in the social founda- 
tion of Norfolk. He was among the earliest settlers, and his 
name appears quite frequently in the Grand Jury lists of the 


pioneer courts of London District. He settled on Lot 5, 13th 
concession of Townsend, and had five sons Jacob, Dennis,, 
Michael, Vincent and Benjamin ; and three daughters Anna, 
Salinda and Dorcas, who married, respectively, Peter Martin, 
of Burford ; Job Slaght, and Adam Book, of Ancaster. The 
sons all settled in Townsend. 

Jacob Shoaf , eldest son of Michael, married Mary Carpenter^ 
and had four sons Philip, James, Michael and Elijah; and five 
daughters Nancy, Martha, Mary, Elizabeth and Margaret. 

Dennis Sho'af , second son of Michael, married a sister of Job 
Loder, and settled on part of the homestead. He had seven 
sons John, Levi, Hiram, Gabriel, Alford, Daniel and David ;. 
and four daughters Elizabeth, Nancy, Lizana and Jane. 

Michael Shoaf, third son of Michael, married Elizabeth 
Baldwin, and had five sons William, Jonathan, Isaac, Lewis 
and Summers ; and two daughters Delilia and Phoebe Ann. 

Vincent Shoaf, fourth son of Michael, married Elizabeth 
Martin, and had six sons John M., Levi A., Stephen S., Alson,, 
Moses and Adam ; and eight daughters Mary Ann, Lydia, 
Angeline, Jane, Lavinia, Caroline, Marilla, Amelia, and one or 
two more whose names were not given, making sixteen or 
seventeen in the family. 

Benjamin Shoaf, fifth son of Michael, married Margaret 
Walker, and had five sons Baldwin, Franklin, Kinsley, John 
and Anson ; and three daughters Sarah Ann, Mary and Alice. 
The name " Shoft " has been Anglicized into " Shaw." 

Hannah Culver, fourth daughter of Jabez, was born in 
1770, and died, single, in 1788, about six years before the 
family left New Jersey. 

The four sons of Jabez, whose names are omitted in this 
sketch, married four Culver sisters. Their children possessed 
a double portion of Culver blood, and a history of the four 
branches is given in sketch " The Double Culver Quartette." 



VERY few people in Norfolk can give a true explanation of 
this riddle in family nomenclature. Many foolish stories have 
been told from time to time, and each, in turn, was said to be 
the proper solution of the mystery. That the Ryersons and 
Ryerses are one and the same family is generally understood, 
but as to which of the two forms is the correct one, and why 
the name was changed by one branch of the family, are 
matters not generally understood. The explanation given here 
is that of one of the oldest living members of the Ryerson 
branch, and is, no doubt, the correct one. 

The correct form of the family name is Ryerson a name 
that stands for one of the most distinguished New Jersey 
families in old colonial times. The Ryersons were U. E. 
Loyalists. In fact, a majority of the leading families in all 
the colonies were Loyalists, and impartial history informs us 
that the greater portion of the brains and wealth of the 
colonies was on the side of the Mother Country. This is 
admitted by all American writers. Mr. Dudley Warner says, 
" I confess that I never could rid myself of the schooboy idea 
that the terms British red-coat and enemy were synonymous, 
and that a Tory was the worst character Providence ever 
permitted to exist ; but those people who were deported or 
went voluntarily away for an idea, were among the best 
material we had in staunch moral traits, intellectual leadership, 
social position and wealth ; their crime was superior attach- 
ment to England and utter want of sympathy with the cause 


of liberty of the hour. It is to them, at any rate, that Ontario 
owes its solid basis of character, vigor and prosperity." 

Professor Hosmer, in his "Life of Samuel Adams," states 
that at the evacuation of Boston. 1,100 Loyalists retired to 
Nova Scotia with the British army, of whom 102 were men in 
official station, 18 were clergymen, 213 were merchants and 
traders of Boston, and 382 were farmers and mechanics. He 
says, " There were, in fact, no better men or women in America 
as regards intelligence, substantive good purpose and piety." 
He says, " They loved beauty, dignity and refinement," and 
that " their estates were among the fairest." 

Shortly after General Howe entered the city of New York, 
he was presented with an address signed by one thousand 
New York and New Jersey Loyalists, and steps were immedi- 
ately taken for recruiting them into service. Oliver De Lancy, 
one of the most distinguished New York colonists, was com- 
missioned a brigadier-general; with authority to enlist three 
battalions of volunteers. This troop numbered two thousand, 
and was officered by New York's wealthiest and most prominent 
citizens. Another well-known and influential Loyalist, Cort- 
landt Skinner, was authorized to recruit a brigade of five 
battalions, called the New Jersey Loyalists. Among the 
commissioned officers of Skinner's brigade were the heads of 
some of our most distinguished Ontario families, two of whom 
were Samuel and Joseph Ryerson, of New Jersey. It will be 
observed that Samuel Ryerse, of Norfolk, was Samuel 
Ryerson, of New Jersey, when he received his commission as 
an officer in this troop of New Jersey Loyalists. But when 
his name was enrolled it was written " Ryerse " through a 
clerical error. It was overlooked at the time, and when he 
came to draw his pay he was compelled to adopt the error and 
sign his name as it had been recorded on the army roll. In 
the war records he was known only as Samuel Ryerse, and as 
a U. E. Loyalist entitled to a grant of land in Upper Canada, 
he could be no other than Samuel Ryerse, and thus we have 
the Ryerse family of Norfolk. , 


Before the war Col. Samuel Ryerse, who was older than his 
brother Joseph, was a prosperous business man of New Jersey. 
He was well educated and exerted considerable influence in 
colonial affairs; and his wife, being a woman of more than 
ordinary intelligence, was a distinguished leader in colonial 
society. In 1783 the family fled to New Brunswick, where, in 
1794, the Colonel met Governor Simcoe, who induced him to 
start a settlement at Long Point, Upper Canada. He came to 
the new country at once and built a log house on the lake 
shore at the rnouth of the creek known as Young's Creek. 
This spot he named Port Ryerse, thus indelibly stamping his 
adopted name upon the map of the new province. Early in 
the present century he built a grist mill, and the port that 
bears his name became a trade centre of considerable import- 
ance during the lives of his children. 

Col. Samuel Ryerse was a prominent character in the early 
pioneer times of the country's history. It was through him 
that Long Point settlement was first organized into a separate 
district, and this historical fact will always keep his name at 
the head of the list of our old pioneers who settled in Norfolk 
in the last decade of last century. In the month of March, 
1800, Colonel Ryerse received a packet from the Executive office 
at York, containing a Commission of the Peace for the new 
District of London, naming himself and sixteen others to be 
Justices of the Peace for the said district. The packet also 
contained commissions for the appointment of a Clerk of the 
Peace, Clerk of the District Court, Registrar of the Surrogate 
Court, Commissioners for the taking of acknowledgments of 
recognizances of bail or bails for the Court of the King's Bench, 
and a Dedimus Potestatem appointing Samuel Ryerse and two 
other commissioners for administering the oaths prescribed by 
law to the officers of the Government. Being thus constituted 
his Majesty's Commissioner of the Peace for the District of 
London, he called together those of the newly-appointed 
magistrates who resided in Woodhouse and Charlotteville, and 
administered to them and the Clerk of the Peace the oath of 


office as prescribed by law. This meeting was held April 2nd, 
1800, at the house of James Monroe, in Charlotte ville. William 
Spurgin was the first to take the oath, and then he, in turn, 
administered it to Colonel Ryerse, after which the latter pro- 
ceeded in administering it to the others. The newly sworn 
justices at once held a special Session of the Peace, with Colonel 
Ryerse in the chair. After ta'king the necessary steps for the 
holding of a Court of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, 
they adjourned. The first Court convened, April 8th, 1800, at 
Monroe's house, and Samuel Ryerse, being chairman*, was 
Norfolk's first judge. In the history of pioneer times in our 
county, it will be thus seen that Colonel Ryerse played an 
important part. He was not only at the head of affairs at the 
beginning, but he remained a leader after the machinery of the 
district had been set in motion. He was the most prominent 
man on the Bench during the time the courts were held at 
Turkey Point. The old court record shows that he served as 
Justice of one of the Divisional Courts of Request almost con- 
tinuously for years. In 1805, on November 16th, a special 
session of the Quarter Sessions was held at his own house at 
Port Ryerse, at which time a Commission bearing the great 
Seal of the Province was read, whereby John Bostwick was. 
made Sheriff of London District. 

A story is told of a very funny thing that happened at 
Port Ryerse in the early times. A family by the name of 
Sprague had settled there, one member of whom was a bright 
girl of fourteen or fifteen, named Polly. Buckskin was. the 
only kind of dress goods obtainable by the poor settlers at this 
time. In mild weather a single garment made of this material 
constituted the entire wardrobe of more than one buxom young 
lass in those times, and Polly Sprague was one of them. She 
had often been in the kitchen of the Ryerse home, which was 
a sort of headquarters for all Long Point settlement at this 
time, and she had witnessed the operation of washing clothing 
in boiling soap suds, and she resolved to treat her " buckskin 
slip " to the same process at the first opportunity. One day 


she was left in sole charge of the Sprague cabin, and, taking 
advantage of the situation, she gave effect to her resolution. 
The reader may imagine the result. When the elder Spragues 
returned to the cabin they found the shrunken and ruined 
garment lying on the floor, and they found the unfortunate 
Polly in the potato hole under the floor. The situation was a 
bad one. There was no more buckskin in the Sprague house- 
hold, and the Ryerse home was the only place in the entire 
settlement where a covering of some kind might be loaned 
until a new supply of buckskin could be obtained. The luck- 
less Polly was put into a barrel and carted to the home of 
Mrs. Amelia Ryerse- Harris, with an ox team, where her needs 
were attended to. 

Col. Samuel Ryerse had three sons Samuel, George and 
Edward ; and two daughters, one of whom, Amelia, married 
John Harris, Treasurer of London District, and settled in 
London. The other daughter married a retired British officer 
and settled in one of the West India islands. 

Samuel Ryerse, eldest son of Colonel Samuel, was about 
eleven years old when the family came to Long Point. He 
married Sarah Cyphor, of Newton, N.J., and, in 1808, settled on 
365 acres of land located on Black Creek, a short distance above 
Port Dover. He had seven sons Peter, Robert, Samuel H., 
Edward, Arthur, Isaac and George Collin ; and four daughters 
Eleanor, Sarah Ann, Harriet and Hannah. 

Peter Ryerse, eldest son of Samuel, was thrice married. 
By his first wife, Mariah Kniffin, he had four sons William, 
John, Thomas and George ; and one daughter, Elizabeth. By 
his second wife, Elizabeth Starks, he had two daughters, and 
the name of his third wife was Mrs. Mary Butler. 

Robert Ryerse, second son of Samuel, married Eliza Under- 
bill, and settled on part of the homestead. He had three sons 
Philander, Alfred and James ^ and five daughters Sarah, 
Cynthia, Helen, Malissa and Erie. 

Samuel H. Ryerse, third son of Samuel, married Elizabeth 
Mandiville, settled on part of the homestead, and had one son, 


Samuel, and four daughters Sarah Ann, Harriet, Rose and 

Edward Ryerse, fourth son of Samuel, married Elizabeth 
Bishoprick, settled on part of the homestead, and left no 

Arthur Ryerse, fifth son of Samuel, married Ann Donly, 
settled in Woodhouse, and had one daughter, Sarah Ann. 
Subsequently, he married Julia Marks as his second wife, by 
whom he had two daughters, Martha and Linnie. 

Isaac Ryerse, sixth son of Samuel, married Mary Chamber- 
lain, settled on part of the homestead, and had two sons 
Eugene and Frank ; and three daughters Anna, Emma and 

George Collin Ryerse, youngest son of Samuel, married 
Sarah Jane Orr, settled on part of the homestead, and had 
three sons Norman, Elmer and Arthur; and one daughter, 

Eleanor Ryerse, eldest daughter of Samuel, married George 
Knifnn and settled in Woodhouse. 

Sarah Ann Ryerse, the second daughter, married Frederick 
Fick and settled in Houghton. She had three sons Collin, 
Wesley and Clinton; and four daughters Cecilia, Amelia, 
Valdora and Naoma. 

Harriet Ryerse, the third daughter, married John Birdsall, 
settled in Townsend, and had two sons John and Edward. 

Hannah Ryerse, youngest daughter of Samuel, married 
Samuel Chamberlain, and settled in Woodhouse. She had two 
sons Samuel and Harvey, both of whom reside in Michigan. 

Samuel Ryerse, the father of this large family, died in 1 844, 
in his 62nd year. 

Rev. George Ryerse, second son of Colonel Samuel, was a 
Baptist preacher. He married Elizabeth Vail and settled at 
Port Ryerse. Many of the old people of Windham and other 
back townships will remember with pleasure the old house on 
the hill where they used to go for cherry and other fruit 
supplies. Elder Ryerse subsequently married Nancy Shaw for 


his second wife. He had five sons William, James, Francis, 
Lewis and George ; and six daughters Maria, Sarah, Amelia, 
Ida, Bessie and Helen. WILLIAM married a daughter of the 
late Col. Isaac Gilbert and settled in Port Ryerse. JAMES 
married Sarah Ann, daughter of Emmanuel Winter, and settled 
near Port Ryerse. FRANCIS married Elizabeth Potts, of 
Woodhouse, and settled near Port Ryerse. LEWIS married 
Kate Kelly and settled at Point St. Ignace, Mich. GEORGE 
married Caroline Lee, granddaughter of the late John Chad- 
wick, of Charlotteville, and settled on the old homestead. 
MARIA married John Austin, the carriage builder, and settled 
in Simcoe. SARAH married Charles Mabee and settled in 
Delhi. AMELIA married a dentist named Barrett and settled 
in Buffalo. IDA married Captain Wesley Hazen. BESSIE 
married in Saginaw, and HELEN married J. Bottomly and 
settled in Lynedoch. 

Major Edward Ryerse, youngest son of Colonel Samuel, 
married Martha, daughter of Elnathen Underbill, and settled 
in Port Ryerse. He left no children. 

Colonel Joseph Ryerson fled into the Maritime Provinces 
after the war, and in 1799, came with his family to Long 
Point. He was awarded lots 23 and 24 in the lake front of 

Col. Ryerson was Norfolk's first Sheriff, or, rather, the first 
Sheriff of Old London District, being in attendance as such at 
the first District Court held at " Fort Monroe," April 8th, 1800. 
He held the office, consecutively, for about five years, being 
succeeded by John Bostwick. He was the first Treasurer of 
the district, holding the office about eight years. In 1807 the 
district received a grant from the Provincial Treasury, and 
Col. Ryerson was paid 5 for bringing the money from York 
to Turkey Point. The record shows that he received $470 for 
summoning the eight justices who served in the several courts 
for the year 1801. In 1807 he and his brother Samuel were 
associate justices for the Court of Request for Windham, Towns- 
end, Woodhouse, Walpole and Rainham; and in 1809 they 


acted as justices in the Court of Request for the three latter 

When the township was surveyed, a blunder was committed 
which caused a shortage in these lots, and by way of compensa- 
tion the Government made the Colonel a grant of the island 
known as Ryerson's Island. Col. Ryerson married Mehetabel 
Stickney in New Jersey, and when he came to Long Point he 
was thirty-nine, and his wife thirty-three years old. He died 
in 1854, in his ninety-fifth year, and Mrs. Ryerson died in 1850, 
in her eighty-fifth year. 

Col. Joseph Ryerson had six sons George, Samuel, William, 
John, Egerton and Ed way M. ; and three daughters Mary, 
Mehetabel and Elizabeth. Of these sons, Samuel was the only 
farmer; all the others were preachers. This generation of 
Ryersons seems to have been endowed with a passionate 
fondness for books and " book larnin'," as the Colonel used 
to express it. He used to say that " Sam." was the only one 
that was any good, and that when he sent the others out on the 
farm to work he would find them lying in a fence-corner or 
under a shade- tree, reading books. He used to say that when- 
ever he bought a new book he was compelled to hide it, to keep 
his " good-for-nothing boys " from fighting over it. At last the 
old Colonel gave up in despair and let them have their own 
way. This meant attendance at Judge Mitchell's District 
Grammar School, and the reader may rest assured that the 
old register contained no dilatory marks against the Ryerson 
boys. Five of them became Methodist preachers John and 
William being noted divines. Egerton's life work is a part of 
our public history, and need occupy no space here. 

Rev. George Ryerson, eldest son of Col. Joseph, was married 
three times. He was at the battle of Fort Erie as lieutenant 
in Capt. Rapelje's company, and received a shot in the mouth 
as he was about to give utterance to a fearful oath. This made 
a serious impression on his mind, and led to his conversion. 
By his first wife, Sarah, sister of Dr. John Rolph, he had one 
daughter, Frances, and one son, Joseph. The daughter married 


John McLaughlin and settled in Wheatland, Iowa ; and the son 
was killed in the American civil war. By his second wife, 
Sofia Wyatt, he had one daughter ; and by his third wife, 
Isabella Sterling, of Rochester, he had one son, Dr. George, the 
Toronto politician. 

Samuel Ryerson, second son of Col. Joseph, married Eliza, 
daughter of Capt. McMichael, and settled on Lot 24, adjoining 
the old homestead. He died in 1826, leaving three daughters 
Jane, Elizabeth and Sarah ; and one son, Henry. JANE mar- 
ried Russell Clark, and settled near Buffalo, N.Y. ELIZABETH 
married Lorenzo Mitchell, in 1841. Her children are enumer- 
ated in the Mitchell genealogy. SARAH married George Dresser, 
and settled in Beloit, Wis. HENRY, the only son, went to sea 
in 1843, and was captain of a whaling ship. 

Rev. William Ryerson, third son of Col. Joseph, married 
May Griffin, of Grimsby. Of this union there were three sons 
Joseph Edway, Smith and William ; and three daughters, 
the names of the two youngest being Phoebe and Matilda. 
JOSEPH EDWAY was a Baptist minister, and at the time of his 
death (1864) was pastor of the Baptist church in Simcoe. He 
married Mary, daughter of Elder Shoaf. SMITH died on board 
ship while on his way to Australia. He left no family, 
WILLIAM married Eliza Thorn and settled in Brantford, where 
he died, in 1886. The eldest daughter married Andrew L. 
Wilson, and settled in Brantford. PHCEBE married Allen 
Wilcox, and settled in Virginia City, Montana ; and MATILDA 
married David Burch, of Brantford, and settled in Chicago. 

Rev. John Ryerson, fourth son of Col. Joseph, married Mary 
Lewis, of Hamilton. He had one son, Egerton, who opened a 
law office in Stratford, where he died, single ; and one daughter, 
Mercia, who married Henry Hardy, of Brantford, who was 
Prosecuting Attorney for Norfolk County at the time of his 

Dr. Egerton Ryerson, fifth son of Col. Joseph, married 
Hannah Akeman, daughter of a farmer living near Hamilton, 
Of this union, the children died in infancy. Subsequently, he 



married the widow of a clergyman named Armstrong, and one 
son and one daughter were the issue of this union. Charles 
E., the son. is a lawyer, of Toronto ; the daughter is the wife 
of Edward Harris, of London. 

Rev. Edway M. Ryerson, youngest son of Col. Joseph, married 
Emily, daughter of Rev. Daniel Freeman, and subsequently he 
married her sister Phoebe. There was no issue from the first 
marriage. He had one daughter, Josephine, by his second wife, 
who married one Fitzgerald, a lawyer, of Ottawa. 

Mary Ryerson, the Colonel's eldest daughter, married Col. 
John Bostwick, and had four sons Joseph, John, George and 
Henry ; and three daughters Augusta, Mehetabel and Frances. 
Col. Bostwick settled in Port Stanley. 

Mehetabel Ryerson, the second daughter, married John 
Williams, a teacher, of Port Dover. 

Elizabeth Ryerson, the Colonel's youngest daughter, married 
Judge Mitchell. Her children are enumerated in the Mitchell 



IN the month of June, one hundred and one years ago, there 
was a little wheatfield near Port Royal which had been sown 
the fall before by a settler named Dedrick. It was only an 
acre in extent, and thickly studded with stumps besides, yet 
no other wheat-field in the county of Norfolk from that time 
to the present, has ever been the object of so much solicitude 
on the part of as many people as was this little field. Never 
was the growth and development of the wheat-plant watched 
from day to day with greater interest, and never was the 
harvest-time waited for with more intense longing by a com- 
munity of people possessing no pecuniary interest in the result. 

Mr. Dedrick was the sole owner of this pioneer wheatfield 
and he had only one or two neighbors, but on the 5th day of 
June a party of U. E. Loyalist settlers arrived at the mouth of 
Big Creek, consisting of a score or more of persons. Their 
arrival was a surprise to the two or three lonely settlers in the 
neighborhood, and they came with a scanty supply of pro- 
visions. They brought only a small quantity of flour and bran 
with them, which was mixed together and dealt out in homoeo- 
pathic doses and taken not oftener than the exigencies of the 
case demanded. This was the little community of persons that 
fasted and prayed as they waited and watched the ripening of 
the wheat in Mr. Dedrick's little clearing with so much interest. 
Among them were the Norfolk grand ancestors of five of our 
old families, and their experiences in that rosy month of June 
were never forgotten. 

True, there was an abundance of fish, but man cannot live 


by fish alone no more than " by bread alone." There were no 
.supply stores in the country, and no amount of "tickling" in 
the virgin soil of old mother earth would induce her to give 
up her treasures sooner than the laws governing her processes 
would permit laws which were inexorable in their nature, 
requiring time for soil preparation, seed planting and plant 

But these pioneers had no bread ; and no future promise of 
mother earth based on a " condition precedent," which required 
time for its fulfilment, could satisfy the present demands of 
their stomachs. In this extremity recourse was had to roots 
.and buds of trees, which were gathered by the women and 
roasted and stewed in various ways as substitutes for more 
palatable and nutritious food. At last the golden grain was 
ready for the sickle, and the men all turned in to help cut it. 
It was thrashed out at once and the yield was sixty bushels. 
One half was fanned with the winds of heaven and sent to 
mill as a grist. John McCall owned the boat that carried the 
party up the la*ke and he took the grist to mill. But where 
"was the mill ? the reader will ask. It was away down on the 
Niagara River! When the little craft sailed away with its 
precious cargo, many a silent prayer went up from the hearts 
of those who waved adieus from the shore for a safe journey 
.and a speedy return. In due time Captain John and his little 
crew returned with the flour; and when the boat came in view, 
such a shout went up from the mouth of Big Creek as was 
never heard in old Port Royal before nor since. And now 
comes the best part of it: that flour was divided equally 
-among them, without any reckoning of debits or credits. 

We, the grandsons and great-grandsons of the old pioneers, 
know nothing of the hardships and privations of pioneer life ; 
but, alas ! neither do we know anything of that fraternal 
feeling and community of interest, which is a prominent 
feature of pioneer life. True, we are surrounded with comforts 
.and conveniences never dreamed of by our forefathers, yet, the 
conditions of our life are less conducive to real happiness and 


contentment, because these very comforts and conveniences 
make us more self-dependent and, consequently, more indifferent 
to the welfare of our fellow-beings. Avarice, pride, egotism, 
selfishness, hypocrisy, and a host of other evils follow in the 
wake, petrifying our souls, and curdling the milk of human 
kindness inherited from our grandsires. No wonder the 
withered features brightened, and the dim eyes kindled with a 
new lustre, when the old folks spoke of the bright side of the 
old pioneer life. 

While travelling through the Southern States a few years 
ago, the writer conversed with many of the old slaves of ante- 
bellum days, and all, without a single exception, expressed 
themselves as having enjoyed life better on the old plantations 
when they were slaves. They said they were better fed, better 
clothed, and did not have to work as hard. They lived in little 
communities by themselves on the old plantations, free from 
cares and responsibilities, and were happier and more contented 
than they are now. But not one was found who would 
willingly return to the old conditions. They have had a taste 
of liberty, and, although it has robbed them of happiness and 
contentment, it has forever made it impossible to live the old 
life over again. 

Call at one of our grand, modern homes and ask the 
wrinkled, white-haired occupant of the old arm-chair where 
she spent her happiest days. Without a moment's hesitation 
she will tell you that her happiest days were spent in the little 
old log-house that stood down by the creek or at the foot of 
the hill. Is it because she was younger then and freer of aches 
and pains ? Well, this may have something to do with it, but 
it is not the main reason. Our mothers sometimes tell us that 
the days of their single-blessedness were their happiest ; but 
our grandmothers do not refer to their girlhood days ; they 
refer to a time when they were burdened with the cares and 
responsibilities of caring for a large family ; a time when the 
old crane in the big fire-place swung to and fro with its burden 
of big iron kettles ; a time when the winter's snow found its 


way through the " chinks " between the logs ; a time when the 
forest trees were being chopped down, and the fires in the 
" foller " lit the heavens with a lurid glare ; a time when every 
yard of clothing and bedding material needed for herself, her 
husband and her children, had to be spun, woven and made up 
by herself ; a time when she was wont to climb into an ox-cart 
with her children on a Sunday morning, and ride five miles 
over corduroy roads, and through mud-holes linch-pin deep, for 
the pleasure of sitting on a hard bench for an hour and listening 
to a good, old-fashioned Gospel sermon, delivered in a sledge- 
hammer style. These were the happy days of our grand- 
mothers; days of honest toil and social equality; days of 
mutual help, sympathy and encouragement ; days of heart-felt 
gratefulness and simple faith in short, pioneer days. 



As Charlotteville is the home of the McCalls, so is Wood- 
house the home of the Austins ; in fact, the bare mention of 
" Woodhouse " suggests the name " Austin." There are names 
which are peculiarly Norfolk names names which were 
planted in the virgin soil of the county and so firmly rooted 
to the foundation of our social fabric that each succeeding 
generation adds to their strength. Among these old elementary 
names are the Austins of Woodhouse. 

Love of home is a leading characteristic with such families, 
and tends to good and desirable citizenship. When a family 
becomes numerous in the locality where the grand-ancestor 
built his pioneer cabin, it denotes on their part loyalty to 
country, fidelity to local interests and affection for each 

Solomon Austin was one of our prominent old foundation 
builders. His family came to Upper Canada with a party 
of U. E. Loyalists, consisting of twelve families. They came 
from Maryland and North Carolina, and arrived on the Niagara 
frontier as early as 1793. The Austins came from Orange 
County, North Carolina, and previous to the war of the Revo- 
lution all had comfortable homes and kind neighbors ; but the 
terrible result of that war made them homeless and despised 
aliens in the land that gave many of them birth. 

It is said that shortly after the new province was organized 
these twelve families clubbed together and sent one of their 
number to the new country to learn what were the natural 
advantages of settlement, and the inducements offered settlers 


by way of land grants, etc. The name of this trusted emissary 
was John Davis, who subsequently settled in Windham, a little 
north of Simcoe ; and later on his brother Robert came from 
North Carolina and settled near him. 

Mr. Davis reported favorably, and in due time the party 
was en route for the new country. They came in canvas- 
covered wagons, bringing their household effects and a number 
of cows and other farm stock with them. Buffalo, at this time,, 
was a small village containing about a dozen houses. The party 
crossed the river at Old Niagara, and remained there a short 

In common with most of their fellow-Loyalists, they came 
into the forests of Upper Canada with little or no means. 
Governor Simcoe offered his executive log mansion at Newark 
to Solomon Austin, as a temporary shelter for his family until 
he could locate his land. He was awarded 600 acres for him- 
self and wife and 200 acres for each of his children, to be 
selected by themselves from any of the untaken lands, which 
at that time included pretty much the entire province. 

But why did Governor Simcoe show Solomon Austin so 
much kindness ? Sir John Graves Simcoe had fought Eng- 
land's battles in the war of the Revolution, and was a U. E. 
Loyalist himself. He had been an officer, and Mr. Austin had 
been a private in his command and had distinguished himself 
at some minor engagement, and his old General had not for- 
gotten it ; hence the extra favors shown him and his family 
when they arrived in the new country. 

Mr. Austin was accompanied by his son Solomon when he 
made his tour of inspection in view of locating his lands. They 
had lived on high, leachy lands in North Carolina, and they 
made up their minds to locate their new lands in some pleasant 
valley where the droughts would not trouble them as of yore. 
Furthermore, they had resolved to build a mill, and this also 
made a choice of valley lands necessary in order to secure the 
required water-power privileges. They travelled through the 
forest on foot, and held a conference with Chief Brant at. 


Brant's Ford (Brantford), and the chief pointed out a southerly 
course, toward the " big lake." They proceeded according to 
Brant's directions, and, in due time, came to a stream, which 
they followed to the lake. This was Patterson's Creek, and the 
place where they came upon it was near the spot where the old 
home of Elder Steinhoff was located. When they reached the 
mouth of the creek they found a squatter living in a log cabin 
on the east bank. This man's name was Walker, and was, no 
doubt, the first settler in Port Dover. They were very much 
.surprised when they reached the lake, and, after a conference 
with Walker, took a westerly course up the lake shore. When 
they reached the mouth of Big Creek, they wended their way 
up the cedar-entangled valley of that stream to a point some 
distance above the site of the present village of Delhi. Nothing 
they had seen pleased them as well as the little valley down 
which they had found their way to the lake, and so, taking a 
south-easterly course, they struck their old trail, and located 
their lands in what is now known as Lynn River Valley. They 
spent about three weeks in the forests of Norfolk, mostly, before 
they decided on a location. Unlike so many of our old Long 
Point pioneers, the Austins made a wise choice when they 
located their new homes. The natural surroundings of the old 
Austin homestead are picturesque and the soil is exceedingly 

When Mr. Austin and his son returned to Newark, they 
found the family suffering with that pest of pioneer life, chill- 
fever. This detained them a whole season in the Niagara 
settlement, and it was some time in 1794 before they were 
settled in Lynn Valley. They suffered, of course, the hardships 
and privations which fell to the lot of all the old pioneers. 

The war of 1812 broke in upon their work of home-building, 
and Solomon Austin and his four stalwart sons marched out of 
the little valley to fight for the Old Flag in the defence of their 
new homes. They were at the battle of Lundy's Lane, and 
before the war closed, it is said, each one of the sons had been 
promoted to the rank of captain. It is no wonder the Austins 


are noted for loyalty to country, fidelity to sound principles 
and love of home. 

The grand-American ancestor of the family emigrated from 
the border of Wales about 175 years ago, and settled on a little 
bay in the Petapsco River, about twelve miles above its entrance 
into the Chesapeake Bay, in Baltimore County, in the colony of 
Maryland. Here, on the Austin estate, was founded the city 
of Baltimore, in 1729. When the colonies threw off their 
allegiance, the Austins were wealthy and influential as, indeed^ 
were all the leading Loyalists but when the war was over 
they were reduced to poverty and subjected to persecution. 
The overthrow and expulsion of the Loyalist element proved 
an irreparable loss to the tone and moral worth of the colonies, 
but it proved a " God-send " to the new British Province of 
Upper Canada. It is but little more than a century since these 
victorious colonies, which had been long established, confiscated 
the homes of their old colonial leaders because they fought to 
put down rebellion, and with kicks and curses sent them pen- 
niless into an unbroken wilderness ; but in 1893 the new 
Ontario met these same thirteen old colonies at Chicago before 
the assembled world, and clearly established her superiority 
over every one of them in the degree of material development 
attained, and in the intellectual status of her people as measured 
by the standard of her educational institutions What is the 
secret of this wonderful development in one short century ? 
It lies in the superior qualities which these old U. E. Loyalist 
foundation builders possessed and which they transmitted to 
their children. Let us not forget this important fact while 
boasting of the intellectual and industrial achievements and 
the moral excellencies of our people. 

Solomon Austin had four sons Solomon, Jonathan, Philip 
and Moses ; and five daughters Mary, Amy, Esther, Elizabeth 
and Anna. 

Solomon Austin, eldest son of Solomon, was twelve years 
old when the family came to Canada. He married Sarah 
Slaght, by whom he had six sons Philip, John S., David, 


Jonathan, Abraham and Samuel ; and four daughters Susan, 
Julia Ann, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, who married, respectively, 
Nathan Pegg, William Shand, Henry Paskins and Alfred 
Farnum. PHILIP, DAVID and SAMUEL married and settled on 
farms in WOODHOUSE. JOHN S. and JONATHAN established a 
carriage manufactory and built up a trade and a reputation for 
square, honest dealing, that any business firm might envy. 
ABRAHAM became a Baptist preacher, and thirty years ago 
there were few Baptist Sunday School scholars in the County 
of Norfolk who did not know the familiar face of Elder 

Jonathan Austin, second son of Solomon, married Hannah 
Potts. He had two sons William and John ; and six daugh- 
ters Charlotte, Mary, Joanna, Catherine, Elizabeth and 
Rebecca Ann. He and his younger son built the mills in 
Lynn Valley, known as " Austin's Mills." Four of his daugh- 
ters Charlotte, Joanna, Elizabeth and Rebecca Ann, married, 
respectively, John Wheeler, John Hinds, Thomas M. England 
and Robert Laning. 

Philip Austin, third son of Solomon, was born in 1790. He 
married Mary Slaght and succeeded to the old homestead. On 
one occasion during their early married life, Mrs. Austin was 
nearly frightened to death by a band of armed Indians who 
came to the house during the husband's absence, and coolly 
ordered a meal of hot buckwheat pancakes. In their estima- 
tion this was a great delicacy, being far ahead of anything 
" Ingin's squaw " ever made of pounded corn. They stacked 
their guns in front of the door, and Mrs. Austin proceeded at 
once to comply with their demands. She baked up all the "pan- 
cake timber " she had, and the " noble red men " swallowed the 
red-hot flapjacks as they came from the griddle. When the 
material was exhausted the half -satisfied warriors shouldered 
their guns and went on their way. It was in a time of peace, 
and they were, no doubt, a band of hunters ; but at that early 
time to have such a band of armed Indians suddenly drop in 
upon a lone woman, was enough to nearly frighten her to 


Mrs. Philip Austin was the mother of seventeen children, 
fourteen of whom grew up to man's and woman's estate. 
There were six sons Aaron, Isaac, Philip B., Joshua, Joseph 
and Oliver; and eight daughters Nancy, Elizabeth, Rebecca, 
Mary, Hannah, Esther Ann, Emily Jane and Priscilla. It is 
said our best people come out of large families, and no one of 
our old families is more in evidence as to the truthfulness of 
this old saying than the family of Philip Austin. Among them 
we find some of Norfolk's most distinguished citizens. Four 
of these sons ISAAC, AARON, JOSEPH and OLIVER have added 
dignity, tone and moral worth to the solid yeomanry of Wood- 
house, the first having served many years in the Township 
and County Councils as Reeve of Woodhouse, and the last is 
at present serving in the same capacity. Oliver Austin is not 
only a leader in township and county affairs,- but he displays 
the same progressive energy in the advancement of agriculture 
and the support of every movement tending to develop a 
stronger moral arid religious sentiment among the people. 
JOSHUA, the fourth son, stands for the first half of that old 
familiar mercantile firm-name, " Austin & Werrett," that found 
its way into every household in the county years ago. EMILY 
married her brother's business partner, George Werrett. 
Several members of this large family settled in the Western 
States, where they raised families and prospered. Philip 
Austin died in 1876, in his 83rd year, having survived his wife 
eleven years. 

Moses Austin, youngest son of Solomon, married Mary 
Misner, and settled in Woodhouse. Subsequently, he built a, 
saw-mill in the vicinity of Tyrrel, Townsend. He had four 
sons Lewis, Edward, Nathaniel and William ; and four 
daughters Margaret, Mary, Sarah and Julia. These sons and 
daughters married and settled, mostly in Woodhouse and 

Mary Austin, eldest daughter of Solomon, and first-born 
child, married Henry Walker and settled near her father's 
homestead. Her children are enumerated in the Walker 


Amy Austin, second daughter of Solomon, married Selah 
Styles, and settled in Woodhouse. She had two sons Peter 
and Selah ; and one daughter, Lavinia. 

Esther Austin, third daughter of Solomon, married Raynard 
Potts, and settled just north of her father's homestead. Her 
children are enumerated in the Potts' family genealogy. 

Elizabeth Austin, the fourth daughter, married John Pegg. 
Her children are enumerated in the Pegg genealogy. 

Anna Austin, youngest daughter of Solomon, married 
David Marr, of Marr's Hill. The names of her children are 
given in the Marr genealogy. 

Solomon Austin and his pioneer wife both attained the age 
of eighty-two. None of their sons reached so great an age, 
except Philip, who reached his eighty-seventh year, being the 
last survivor of the family. Moses died comparatively young, 
being only about fifty -five, while Solomon reached his sixty- 
eighth year. For several years previous to Philip's death, the 
members of his large family held a reunion on the anniversary 
of his birth. At the last of these reunions there were present one 
hundred and thirty-seven descendants of Philip Austin, and the 
direct descendants of the original Solomon Austin numbered, at 
this time, over seven hundred. If this was the number twenty 
years ago, what a mighty host they must be to-day ! 

But according to a family tradition, the destiny that gave 
Norfolk this vigorous and most excellent element, hung on a 
very slender thread at one time. It happened while Solomon 
Austin was fighting for British supremacy in America. As 
the story goes, he and six others were taken prisoners, and 
himself and another were condemned to death. Just before 
the time fixed for execution, Mr. Austin and another prisoner 
were permitted to go to a spring for a drink. They were 
accompanied by two guardsman, and when they arrived at the 
spring, one of the guards handed his gun to the other guard 
and lay down to take the first drink himself. While thus 
engaged the standing guard passed his comrade's gun over to 
Austin and gave him the wink to make good his escape. It 


was a narrow escape, but it proved successful. He knew the 
man who thus saved his life, and had always looked upon him 
as a bitter enemy; but he never saw him afterwards, and 
never knew what became of him. 

The twelve families referred to in the first part of this sketch, 
all settled in the Niagara and other Eastern sections, except the 
Austin families. As before stated, John Davis moved up from 
Niagara subsequently. Accompanying the party were several 
young men with no family connections. Two of these John 
Pegg and Henry Walker settled in Norfolk. John Austin, a 
young man, son of a brother of the original Solomon Austin, 
came with the party, and was awarded land in the County of 
York, where he settled, married, and raised a family. 



IN the Culver family, of Norfolk, were four brothers who 
married four Culver sisters. The brothers were sons of that 
father of pioneers, Rev. Jabez Culver ; and the sisters were 
daughters of Timothy Culver, who came to the settlement in 
1796. It is the only case on record in the history of our old 
families, where four brothers married four sisters, all of the 
same name, and all the grandchildren of one common marriage 
union. Three of these marriages were solemnized in New 
Jersey, and the fourth, here ; but all settled here more than a 
hundred years ago, their posterity having become as " sands on 
the sea-shore," forming no inconsiderable portion of Norfolk's 
present population. The names of the brothers were Jabez, 
Aaron, John and Gabriel ; and the sisters names were Anna, 
Elizabeth, Miriam and Martha. They married in the order in 
which their names are written. 

Jabez Culver, jun., eldest brother in the quartette, was born 
in New Jersey in 1760, and was thirty-four years old when he 
settled in Norfolk. His name frequently appears in the old 
court journal as a grand juror during the time the courts 
were held at Turkey Point. Jabez Culver was the only one 
of the quartette who moved out of the county. When the 
fertile hard-wood lands of Yarmouth began to attract settlers, 
he moved up into Elgin County and settled on the Catfish Creek, 
north of Talbot Street. He had two sons Timothy and 
Isaac; and four daughters Hannah, Catherine, Esther and 

Timothy Culver, elder son of Jabez, jun., was born in New 


Jersey. During the war of 1812 he returned to New Jersey, 
where he married and died, leaving one; son, Philip. When a 
young lad, this son came to Canada to look after a land 
interest which his father had forfeited by leaving the country 
at a time when his services were needed in its defence, and 
after a hasty visit went south, where he met with some start- 
ling experiences. Where or when he died, or whether he died 
childless or not, are matters of family history unknown to his 
relatives in Canada. 

Isaac Culver, younger son of Jabez, jun., married Jane 
Tuttle, and succeeded to the Yarmouth homestead. He had 
one son, Edwin, and three daughters Esther, Emily and 
Calista all of whom died young and without issue. 

Edwin married Ann Burns, and succeeded to the homestead. 
He had one son, John Mark, who died single ; and four 
daughters Eliza Jane, Catherine, Emeline and Melissa, who 
married, respectively, E. A. Owen, D. A. Luton, W. S. Rogers 
and E. E. Sheppard. 

Hannah Culver, eldest daughter of Jabez, jun., was carried 
from New Jersey in the arms of her Aunt Martha, wife of 
Gabriel Culver, on the back of a horse. She married Thomas 
Finch, of Vittoria, and settled, finally, in Oxford County. Her 
children are enumerated in the Finch genealogy. 

Catherine Culver, second daughter of Jabez, jun., married 
John Learn, and settled near the old homestead in Elgin. She 
had seven sons Andrew, George, Lyman, Edwin, John, Philip 
and Charles ; and one daughter, Catherine. The mother lived 
to be very old. 

Eunice Culver, third daughter of Jabez, jun., married Neil 
Close, and settled at New Sarum. She had six sons Andrus, 
Charles, John, Oliver, George and Louis ; and three daughters 
Caroline, Eliza Ann and Catherine. Both parents attained a 
good old age. 

Esther Culver, fourth daughter of Jabez, jun., married 
Wheeler Kitchen, and settled in Townsend. She had three 
sons Richard, Isaac and Jabez ; and two daughters Esther 


Ann and Mary Eunice. Of this family, RICHARD settled in 
Monroe County, Missouri, ISAAC settled in Woodhouse, JABEZ 
settled in Michigan ; and the daughters married, respectively, 
Samuel Culver and Timothy Culver, both of Townsend. 

Aaron Culver, second brother in the quartette, was born 
in New Jersey, in 1766, and was thirty years old when he came 
to Norfolk. His pioneer log-cabin was erected on a knoll now 
included in one of the broad fields of the Loder-Culver farm. 
He brought a set of mill-irons from New Jersey, and when he 
had effected a settlement he set about looking up a mill-site. 
There was a good one on Patterson's Creek, where the town of 
Simcoe now stands; and when Governor Simcoe pitched his tent 
in the valley in 1795, on a spot now included in the Campbell 
Grove, Mr. Culver waited upon him and obtained a grant of 
the mill privilege. He built a mill on the site occupied in more 
modern times by the N. C. Ford & Co. mills. The little Culver 
mill was the pioneer mill of Simcoe, and was named " The 
Union Mill," for the reason, probably, that it was brought into 
existence by the united effort of all the settlers. The first 
land deed registered in the county from Townsend was in 
1797, being a deed from Gideon Cooley to Aaron Culver. 

A reference to sketch, " Juries and Court Officials Made at 
Turkey Point," will show that Aaron Culver was, also, a 
frequent grand juror, and that he was one of the old treasurers 
of London District. He was twice married. By the Culver 
union he had three sons David, Moses and Timothy ; and by 
his second wife, Jane Fray, he had two sons Aaron and 
George; and two daughters Sarah and Jane. He died in 
1849, in his 86th year. 

David Culver, eldest son of Aaron, married Sarah White, 
and settled in Townsend. He had four sons James, Nathaniel, 
Aaron and Joseph ; and three daughters Martha Jane, Mercia 
and Sarah. 

Moses Culver, second son of Aaron, married Sarah Merritt, 
and settled in Townsend. He had four sons Levi, Loder, 
William and Moses; and three daughters Jane, Mary and 
Nancy. He died in 1835, in his 33rd year. 


Timothy Culver, third son of Aaron, married Rebecca 
Pursley, and settled in Townsend. He had five sons Philip, 
Mahlon, Oliver, Aaron and Thomas ; and two daughters Jane 
and Amy. 

Aaron Culver, eldest son of Aaron by his second wife, 

married Stearns, and settled near Simcoe. He had three 

sons Alvin, Ebenezer and Leamon. 

George Culver, second son of Aaron by his second wife, 
married Emily Musselman, and settled on the homestead. He 
had four sons Sylvanus, Herbert, Mark and Ernest ; and two 
daughters, one of whom married John Bouprey, of Simcoe. 

Sarah and Jane, daughters of the original Aaron, married, 
respectively, Joseph Woolley and Leamon Sovereign. 

John Culver, third brother in the quartette, was born in 
New Jersey, in 1768, and was twenty-six years old when he 
built his log-cabin in the Townsend wilderness. He came a 
little in advance of his father and brothers, and was the first 
Culver to effect a settlement in Norfolk. They left New 
Jersey early in 1793, but the season was spent somewhere 
about the Grand River, and they did not reach Norfolk before 
February or March, 1794. The ground was covered with snow, 
and after crossing the Grand River they had to chop their way 
through the brush-entangled forest. When they reached a 
certain spot on what is now Lot 1, llth concession, Townsend, 
they pitched their tent. The snow was cleared away from the 
prostrate trunk of a huge tree, and a temporary shelter con- 
structed with pine boughs and cow-hides. What a mighty 
transformation has been effected in Norfolk since Miriam 
Culver and her three babies cuddled together on a bed of pine 
boughs by the side of that log a hundred and three years ago ! 
And what were the thoughts of the brave young pioneer as he 
guarded that rudely constructed couch all through the " stilly 
watches " of that first night ? In our imagination we can see 
the leaping flames and the radiating shadows. It is midnight, 
and stretching away in every direction is a vast, unbroken and 
densely wooded forest. Old Townsend's first permanent settler 


stands with his back to the crackling flames, and, with folded 
arms, peers into the outlying darkness. Hark ! What de- 
moniacal, blood-curdling sound is that ? He listens. It grows 
louder. On a bed of pine-boughs, by the side of a fallen tree, 
lies old Townsend's first pioneer mother. She has had a 
hard day's tramp through the forest, and has fallen into a 
deep sleep with her babies nestled snugly in her arms. She is 
oblivious to her surroundings, and hears not the discordant 
howls of the blood-thirsty wolves. She is dreaming of her 
happy, far-away New Jersey home and the dear friends left 
behind. But the vigilant sentry disturbs not her slumbers. 
He heaps on more wood and sends the sparkling flames higher 
and still higher, for well he knows that this is a certain means 
of warding off attacks of wild beasts. 

John Culver was truely a pioneer of pioneers. He was a 
preacher, but never assumed the duties of the regular pastor. 
He was a poet, and in 1828 he wrote a volume of hymns which 
was published as the " Upper Canada Hymn Book." He was 
somewhat eccentric in character, and towards the close of his 
life he became enamored with the doctrines of Universalism. 
He had five sons Michael, Gabriel, Darius, John Mark and 
Hiram ; and seven daughters Rhoda, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, 
Miriam, Dorcas and Susanna. He died in 1834 in his 67th 
year, and his wife died in 1852, in her 80th year. 

Michael Culver, eldest son of John, was married three times. 
He had seven sons Gabriel, Lewis, Dr. John, Mark, Darius, 
Hugh and Carlton ; and four daughters Mary Jane, Sarah 
Ann, Harriet and Miriam. He died in 1869, in his 79th year. 

Gabriel Culver, second son of John, and his sister Elizabeth, 
settled in the States. 

Darius Culver, third son of John, married Mary Heath, and 
settled on the homestead. He had two sons Horace and 
Leamon; and four daughters Evangeline, Amanda, Harriet 
and Mary D. He died in 1835, in his 37th year. 

John Mark Culver, fourth sou of John, married Sarah Kern, 
and settled on the homestead. He had two sons Ransom and 
Albert ; and four daughters Emily, Roxey, Ruth and Miriam. 


Hiram Culver, youngest son of John, married Sarah Ann 
Stokes, a,nd settled in Townsend. He died this present year in 
his 83rd year, and was the last survivor of his generation. 
Hiram inherited some of his father's mental peculiarities. As 
.a mental arithmetician he had few equals. It is said he once 
computed the number of thirty-seconds of an inch around a 
two-hundred-acre lot, mentally, without making a mark of any 
kind. The grand total runs up into hundreds of millions, and 
the feat is one that few men, indeed, are able to perform. 
Hiram Culver had one son, James S., who died single. His 
four daughters Miriam C., Amoret A., Louisa Jane and 
Amanda M., married, respectively, Edgar Bryning, Willard 
Walker, Thomas Giles and Albert Deming. Mrs. Bryning has 
in her possession one of the most valuable old books in the 
county. It is a concordance of the Bible, published in 1643, 
and brought from New Jersey to Norfolk more than a century 
ago, by Rev. Jabez Culver, father of the quartette in question. 

Rhoda Culver was the first-born child in the Townsend 
cabin. She married James Lewis, and settled in Townsend. 
Of the other daughters of John, ELIZABETH married Alexander 
Mclntosh, of Townsend; MIRIAM married William Wood, of 
Windham ; DORCAS married Dr. Bostwick, and SUSANNA 
married Mark Hopkins. 

Gabriel Culver, youngest brother in the quartette, was 
born in New Jersey in 1774, and was twenty years old when 
his father settled in Norfolk. He married after he came to the 
settlement, and it is quite probable that his marriage was the 
first one solemnized in the township of Windham. During 
Governor Simcoe's visit in 1795, he called at Gabriel's little 
clearing and advised him to leave a clump of trees that stood 
in front of his cabin for a grove. The advice was acted upon 
.and the trees were spared. He had six sons Asa, Jabez L., 
John, Ira, Orrin G. and Nelson C.; and three daughters 
Elizabeth, Nancy and Calista. He died in 1841 in his 68th 
year, and his wife died in 1866 in her 90th year. 

Asa Culver, eldest son of Gabriel, married Sarah Widner, 
and settled in Windham. He had four sons Lewis, Descom, 


John Asa and Alvin; and three daughters Helen, Caroline 
and Sarah Jane. Asa, the father, died in 1879 in his 82nd year. 

Jabez L. Culver, second son of Gabriel, married Mary 
Chamberlain, and settled in Windham. He had four sons 
Dr. John G., Edwin, Louis and Dr. Addison ; and two daughters. 
Martha and Almira. He died in 1841 in his 42nd year. 

John Culver, third son of Gabriel, married Mary Boss. He 
had no children. 

Ira Culver, fourth son of Gabriel, married Desire Brown, 
and settled, finally, in Iowa. Benjamin Culver, of Norwich, is 
a son of Ira. 

Orrin G. Culver, fifth son of Gabriel, married Harriet 
Walker, and settled in Windham. He had two sons Lyman 
and Leander ; and one daughter, Serena. 

Nelson C. Culver, youngest son of Gabriel, married Sarah, 
daughter of Abraham Young, the old Windham pioneer who 
lived to be nearly a hundred years old. He settled on the old 
homestead, but at present lives in a pleasant home on the lake 
shore near Normandale. He is the sole survivor of his 
generation. He has six sons Omar, Asa, Ogden, Frank, Tom 
and Lemuel ; and five daughters Calista, Mary, Susanna, Eva 
and Jennie. 

Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Gabriel, married John Mclntosh, 
and settled in Townsend. 

Nancy, the second daughter, married Col. Thomas Clark, of 

Calista, youngest daughter of Gabriel, married Nelson 

If all the people in Norfolk who are related to the Culver 
family were removed from the county, those remaining would 
feel lonely. They have become very numerous and influential, 
and it is no doubt a fact that a careful computation would 
show that the Culver connections would outnumber those of 
any other of our pioneer families, and that they own more 
cultivated fields and comfortable Norfolk rural homes than 
any other family. The Culvers are pre-eminently tillers of 
the soil. 



WHEN Charles Edward, son of the old Pretender, crossed 
over from France to Scotland, in 1745, with a handful of 
adventurers, it was the signal of a bloody civil strife. As 
was expected, many flocked to his standard. The union be- 
tween Scotland and England was gall and wormwood, at that 
time, to many of the old Highland clans, and as Charles Edward 
promised to dissolve it when v he secured the crown, they 
embraced the opportunity of taking up arms against the 
English king. When this rebellion broke out, the subjects 
of this sketch were mere lads, whose native heath was on 
one of the many arms of old Argyleshire which extend out 
into the sea. Donald was just ten years old, and Rob, his 
companion, was several years his senior. These lads, in com- 
mon with the Highland peasantry, had been inured to hard- 
ships. They attended the flocks on the rugged hillsides, but 
mutton was not an everyday article of diet in their humble 
homes. A slice of " bannock " or a bowl of oatmeal gruel was 
what they were more accustomed to ; yet they were hardy and 
robust. The sons of old Argyleshire are early in life inspired 
with a roaming spirit. Next to Inverness, it is the largest 
county in Scotland, yet it is so broken up by the sea that no 
part is more than twelve miles from either the open sea or an 
inland loch. The sea extends its numerous arms inland and 
says " Come," and the rugged peaks of old Ben Cruschan and 
Bedan-ambran look down from above with an inspiration of 
encouragement and whisper " Go," and thus it is that in every 
part ot the civilized world the sons of " auld Argyleshire " are 

When Sir John Cope was defeated at Prestonpans by the 
forces of the young Pretender, a feeling of intense indignation 
was aroused all over the kingdom. Volunteers offered their 
services to the king in every county. Argyleshire was loyal 


from centre to circumference, and a large body of the militia 
joined the king's forces. Donald and Rob were too young to 
go, but their fathers went. The decisive battle was fought on 
the bleak and dreary moor of Culloden. At a critical moment, 
when the left wing of the loyal forces were being weakened by 
a furious rebel onslaught, the Argyleshire militia tore down a 
park wall that stood in their way, and wildly rushed into the 
breach with drawn swords, and in thirty minutes the rebel 
forces were broken and utterly routed. This decided the fate 
of Charles Edward. 

When these loyal militiamen returned to their homes, the 
story of Culloden was rehearsed on the hillsides and in the 
valleys of Argyleshire, and many a youth was fired with an 
ambition to go out and measure swords with the king's enemies. 
The subjects of this sketch were thus inspired, and when Donald 
reached his twenty -first year, he and Rob enlisted in a High- 
land regiment known as the " 42nd Highlanders." This was in 
1756, and in 1758 we find them in the army of General Amherst 
in the expedition sent against Cape Breton. Their regiment 
was attached to the brigade under the command of Colonel 
Wolfe, and did noble service at the capture of Louisburg. The 
following year Wolfe's rank was raised to that of major-general, 
and he was sent against Quebec. Our heroes accompanied this 
expedition and took part in the capture of that strong fortress, 
thereby breaking the power of France in the New World for- 
ever. After the capture of Quebec, they remained with the 
garrison during the winter. The Highland uniform was not 
suited to the rigors of a Quebec winter, especially one as severe 
as this proved to be, and the soldiers suffered so intensely with 
the cold that the nuns in the convent pitied them and knitted 
long woollen hose for them. The following summer they were 
transferred to Philadelphia, where, after three years' service 
connected with the Indian troubles, they were honorably dis- 
charged from the army ; this was in 1763. They were now in 
the prime of manhood, and in the New World. Their army 
record had exceeded their boyhood's fondest dreams, and now 
they would turn their attention to fighting the battles of civil 


life in securing homes for themselves. The British colony of 
New Jersey offered many attractions at this time, and the two 
young Highlanders settled there. When the colonies threw off 
their allegiance, Donald and Rob each had young families and 
good, comfortable homes. They were fairly started on the road 
to prosperity, but their fathers had left their homes and young 
families to help put down rebellion, and so would they. They 
joined General Clinton on Long Island ; but we cannot follow 
them through the war of the Revolution. Poor Rob did not 
live to share with . his old comrade the misfortunes that fate 
held in store for the Loyalists. The treaty of peace was 
signed in 1783, but it did not bring peace to the families of 
Donald and his fellow Loyalists. It meant contumely, re- 
proach, persecution, confiscation of property and expatriation. 
They fled into the British provinces down by the sea, where 
the Old Flag still waved. After Quebec had been divided and 
the western portion organized into a separate province as 
Upper Canada, Sir John Graves Simcoe, its first governor, 
championed the cause of the refugee Loyalists. He obtained 
authority from the British Parliament to make them grants of 
land and help them in other ways, by way of remuneration for 
the losses they had sustained in their unflinching fidelity to the 
Crown. He visited Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where 
he addressed the Loyalists at public meetings. He told them 
of the wonderful advantages awaiting the settler in the new 
province, and promised them 600 acres of land each as an 
inducement to settle therein. 

Donald looked after his old friend's family, and after 
Governor Simcoe's visit, a party, consisting of himself and 
family, the family of his old friend and several others, resolved 
to migrate to the new country. 

These two Highland lads were Donald McCall and Robert 
Monroe, the grand- American ancestors of the two old Norfolk 
families bearing those names. Is it any wonder their descend- 
ants have always been noted for their loyalty to British 
institutions, or that a warm, friendly feeling has always 
existed between them ? 



FAR was it from the mind of Donald McCall when he gazed 
upon his native heath in " Auld Scotia " for the last time that 
he was to become the founder of a mighty clan McCall in an 
interior part of the New World, which at that time was an 
unbroken wilderness roamed over by savages. Indeed, when 
he landed on our shore with his family, on that 5th day of 
June, 1796, he could not have dreamed of the wonderful 
increase of his posterity which one short century would bring 
about. Donald McCall was well advanced in years when he 
built his log cabin on Lot 18, 4th concession of Charlotte ville 
more than a hundred years ago ; and to-day his great-grandson, 
the present Reeve of Charlotteville, is the owner and occupant 
of a part of this same old homestead. And right here lies the 
secret of the high standing attained by the family in the social 
circles of the township. While other families broke up and 
scattered, some going into other portions of the Province, and 
many others floating off to the great American Republic, the 
McCalls possessed an abiding faith in the land of their birth, 
and remained at home. All through the century they seem to 
have been actuated with the idea that old Charlotteville was 
good enough for them. In fact, it seems to be a principle 
inherent in the family to cling to the old land-marks. This 
love of home and of home institutions have made them 
numerous in the land where their old Highland forefather 
settled ; and it has placed them in comfortable circumstances 
and made them influential and highly respectable. The social 
fabric of South Norfolk is so interwoven with the McCall 


element that it would fall to pieces were that element 
eliminated. In public matters it is the same. Whoever saw 
a Charlotteville Council or a County Council without a McCall 
factor in it ? And they are not content with framing muni- 
cipal by-laws ; they must take part in provincial legislation ; 
and so we find the names of two different members of the 
family on the county list of past parliamentary representatives. 
Another principle inherited from the man who fought Eng- 
land's battles for seven years, is the principle of loyalty to 
British institutions. This is one of the distinguishing char- 
acteristics of the McCall family. The war of 1812 brought 
them to the front in the Norfolk militia. In fact, there was 
no important action taken by our militia during those trouble- 
ous times that was not aided by a McCall acting as colonel, 
major or captain. 

Donald McCall and Elsie Simpson had five sons John, 
Duncan, Daniel, James and Hugh ; and three daughters 
Catherine, Elizabeth amd Mary. The old pioneer was past 
sixty when he came to Long Point. He settled on the lot 
mentioned on account of its rich, natural pasture advantages 
and its water privileges. He died early in the century, being 
survived by his wife several years. The history of his early 
manhood is given in sketch entitled " Two Highland Lads." 

John McCall, eldest son of Donald, was ten years old when 
the colonies threw off their allegiance, and thirty when the 
family came to Long Point. He married Martha McCool, and 
settled on Lot 18, 6th concession of Charlotteville, which he 
received as a U. E. Loyalist grant. He was possessed of a 
rough-and-ready nature, and was a conspicuous personage in 
the settlement. He was endowed with a coarse vein of humor, 
and being an expert hunter, was one of the best known 
characters of his time. He died in 1839, in his 74th year, 
leaving one son, Daniel. His wife died in 1858, at the age of 

Daniel McCall, only son of John, married Janet, daughter 
of William Cowan, and succeeded to the homestead. He died 


in 1854, in his 48th year, leaving an only son, Daniel, who is 
the present owner of the old homestead. 

Major Duncan McCall, second son of Donald, was born in 
Baskingridge, Somerset County, New Jersey, in 1768. He 
married Jemima, sister of the original Noah Fairchild, and was 
the only son married when the family came to Long Point. 
Duncan remained behind one year, and came in 1797 with a 
stock of merchandise, which he disposed of in the manner 
described in sketch entitled " Old Fort Monroe," He was. 
newly married, and his young bride came with the families in 
1796. After spending a few years in merchandising notably 
in the fur trade he settled on his government grant, being 
Lot 22, 5th concession of Charlotte ville. In 1798 his young 
wife died, leaving an infant son, Daniel, and a baby daughter, 
Margaret. This young mother is the subject of the sketch 
entitled, " A Young Mother's Grave." Mr. McCall married a 
second time ; and by his second wife, Mrs. Lock wood, he had 
one son, Duncan. 

In 1824 Major McCall was elected to a seat in the Provincial 
Parliament, retaining it until 1833, when he was stricken down 
with cholera while in Toronto attending to his official duties. 
He died in his 64th year. 

Major Daniel McCall, elder son of Duncan, was, probably, 
the first white child born in Charlotte ville. He married Hannah, 
daughter of Robert Shearer, and settled on the homestead. The 
children in this family who grew up were three sons Daniel 
A., Francis and Simpson ; and one daughter, who married 
William Nevett. All settled at or near St. Williams. 

Duncan McCall, younger son of Duncan, married Naoma, 
daughter of Oliver Mabee, and settled on Lot 1 2, 5th conces- 
sion of Charlotteville. He had two sons Samuel and Oliver. 
Subsequently, he married Rhoda Mann, by whom he had one 
son, Joseph, who settled at Vittoria. 

Margaret McCall, only daughter of Duncan, was left a 
motherless babe in the little settlement a hundred years ago. 
She married Aquila M. Walsh and settled on the Walsh home- 


stead. Her children are enumerated in the Walsh family 

Lieut.-Col. Daniel McCall, third son of Donald, was born in 
the New Jersy home in 1772, and was twenty-four years old 
when the family came to the settlement. He married Jane 
Decew, of Sussex County, New Jersey, and settled on Lots 22 
and 23, 6th concession of Charlotte ville. This son of the old 
Highlander inherited much of his father's martial spirit. He 
served in the war of 1812 as captain of a company, and was at 
the battle of Fort Erie. He was at " Malcolm's Mill " with his 
company, and in justice to Captain McCall and his men be 
it said, they maintained their military integrity until all else 
had broken ranks and fled. In the sketch entitled " Grand- 
father's Tales of the War of 1812," an account is given of the 
part he played in the capture of the " Dickson bandits." Daniel 
McCall worked his way up in the Norfolk militia from corporal 
to lieutenant-colonel. 

In about 1798 he built a frame house on his land, and 
many years afterwards it was moved to Vittoria, and is at 
present occupied as a dwelling. 

Colonel McCall died in 1848, in his 77th year, and his wife 
died two years afterwards, in her 79th year. He left three 
sons Duncan, Daniel and William ; and two daughters Elsie- 
and Mary. 

Duncan McCall, eldest son of Colonel Daniel, married Fanny 
Harvey, settled in the Gore of Woodhouse and had three sons 
James Harvey, Edwin and Charles ; and two daughters 
Harriet and Isabel. 

Daniel McCall, second son of Colonel Daniel, was a school 
teacher. He taught a term in the Kitchen school-house, after 
which, his health failing, he went south, where he died with 

William McCall, third son of Colonel Daniel, married Eliza- 
beth McCoy, and settled on the homestead. He had two- 
daughters Maria and Rebecca, both of whom died single. 

Elsie McCall, elder daughter of Colonel Daniel, married 


Charles Perley, and settled in Burford. She had four sons 
Daniel, Charles, Thomas and Allen ; and five daughters Helen, 
.Alice, Elizabeth, Phoebe and Charlotte. Mr. Perley's farm com- 
prised five hundred acres. He employed a large number of 
men, and in harvest time Mrs. Perley cooked meals, sometimes 
:for as many as 120 persons. 

Mary McCall, younger daughter of Colonel Daniel, married 
.Jacob McKenna, and settled on Lot 19, 5th concession of 
Charlotte ville. She had two sons Daniel W. and Van Rans- 
iSaelar; and two daughters Jane and Charlotte. The family 
finally moved to the States. 

James McCall, fourth son of Donald, was born in 1781, and 
was fifteen years old when the family came to Upper Canada. 
He married Nancy McQueen, and after a short stay near Port 
Rowan, settled on the old homestead near Vittoria. He had 
;seven sons Simpson, Daniel, James A., John H., David W., 
Duncan and Jacob; and three daughters Phrebe, Elsie and 
;Susan. Mr. McCall died comparatively a young man, leaving 
.a widow with a large family of small children, the eldest of 
whom, Simpson, was only about thirteen years old. 

Simpson McCall, eldest son of James, married Priscilla 
Lamport, and succeeded to the homestead. He had four sons 
.James H., George D., Thomas Simpson and Malcolm J.; and 
two daughters Mary and Martha. A sketch of Mr. McCall's 
life is given elsewhere under the title, " Comforts of Old Age." 

Daniel McCall, second son of James, died single. 

James A. McCall, third son of James, went to the Western 
iStates, married and had two daughters. 

John H. McCall, fourth son of James, married Ann Cowan 
,and settled on part of the homestead. He had four sons 
William, Arthur, Angus and John ; and five daughters Nancy, 
Margaret, Mary Ann, Hannah and Emma. John succeeded to 
the homestead. 

David W. McCall, fifth son of James, married Harriet 
Mann, and settled on Lots -15 and 16, 7th concession of Char.- 
lotteville. He had five sons Alexander, Thomas, Frank, Louis 


and Walter ; and three daughters Caroline, Ettie and Hannah. 
The two eldest sons acquired considerable wealth in the lum- 
bering business Alexander being the well known ex-Mayor of 

Duncan McCall, sixth son of James, settled in California. 

Jacob McCall, youngest son of James, married Sarah 
Palmerston and settled on Lot 8, 1st concession of Charlotte- 
ville. He had one son, James W.; and two daughters Susan 
and Mary. All settled in the States. 

Phoebe McCall, eldest daughter of James, married, and 
settled in the States. 

Elsie McCall, the second daughter, married William Good- 
land, and settled in Charlotte ville. She had several children 
but all died in childhood. 

Susan McCall, youngest daughter of James, married Chaun- 
cey Huff, and died young, leaving no children. 

Of James McCall's family, Simpson and Jacob, the eldest 
and youngest, are the sole survivors. 

Hugh McCall, youngest son of Donald, was the baby, being 
only three years old when the family landed at the mouth of 
Big Creek in 1796. He married Earner, daughter of Captain 
John Haveland, of Townsend. He was possessed of a roaming- 
disposition and was fond of adventure. Having a strong 
predilection for boating, he purchased a vessel of Cross & Fisher, 
and engaged in the shipping business, carrying surplus pro- 
ducts from Long Point ports to Buffalo and other points, 
returning with merchandise and such supplies as were in 
demand in the settlement. Late in the season of 1819. he was 
caught in the ice off Port Rowan, while trying to make that 
port with a cargo of salt and other supplies. This caused a 
salt famine in the settlement, and salt went up to two dollars 
a barrel. Mr. McCall was awarded a grant of land in the 
township of Sombra, but he could not tie himself down to the 
task of improving it. For a time he engaged in the fur traffic. 
Finally he went to California, and did not return until he had 
grown old. He died in 1873, in his 81st year. His family 


settled near Port Stanley. His son, Allen, kept a hotel for 
several years on the St. Thomas and Port Stanley gravel road. 
Subsequently, he moved to St. Thomas, where he died. George 
McCall, son of Hugh, was a carpenter, and he settled in Yar- 
mouth, where he raised a family. Hugh had a daughter, Sarah, 
who died single. 

Catherine McCall, eldest daughter of Donald, was born in 
1770, and came to the settlement at the age of twenty-six, 
being the wife of Lieut. James Monroe. Her children are 
enumerated in the Monroe family genealogy. 

Elizabeth McCall, second daughter of Donald, came to the 
settlement when she was fourteen years old, and became the 
wife of the original Noah Fairchild. Her children are enumer- 
ated in the Fairchild family genealogy. 

Mary McCall, youngest daughter of Donald, was only nine 
years old when she came to the wilderness of Norfolk. She 
married Ephraim Cole Mitchell, and settled in Charlotteville. 
In 1815 they settled in Bayham, where they lived the remainder 
of their lives. In the Mitchell family were three sons Thomas, 
Simpson and George; and two daughters Elsie and Mary 
Ann. THOMAS is still living ; GEORGE married Jane Harvey, 
and settled in Hough ton; ELSIE married a man named Stansell, 
and settled in Bayham ; and MARY ANN married James 
McGuire, a shoemaker, and settled in Houghton. 

The McCall genealogy, as given in this sketch, was dictated 
by Simpson McCall, Esq., in his ninety-first year, from memory, 
which is a most remarkable feat for any man, young or old, 
to perform. 



FIVE years after the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe, 
and one year after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which 
put an end to the French and Indian war, and established 
English supremacy on the American continent, a child was 
born in Washington County, in the province of Maryland, that 
was destined to become the pioneer head of a numerous family 
in the settlement of a region of country which was at that 
time unknown. The name of this child was Christian Rohrer, 
and he was just one year old when the notorious " Stamp Act" 
was passed by the English Parliament. His parents came from 
Germany, and although their son, Christian, was born in 
America, they spared no pains in teaching him how to speak 
and write the language of his forefathers. This was a wise 
thing to do, and should never be neglected by foreign-born 
parents (especially German) in the education of their American- 
born children. Its value in after life especially in business 
pursuits cannot be over-estimated. 

Christian Rohrer married Varonica Rehmein, who did not- 
long survive her marriage. After her death he married Anna 
Baumwart for his second wife. Mrs. J. R Davis, of Port 
Rowan, a descendant of Christian Rohrer, is in possession of 
two old records which certainly are deserving of a place in 
some museum of antiquities. These relics are more than a 
hundred years old ; but it is the odd and wildly fantastic 
attempt at ornamentation that characterizes them rather than 
their age. It is a print, or stamp, in high colors ; and at first 
sight, remind one of pieces of old, highly-colored wall paper, 
representing the birds and foliage of some unknown planet 


far removed from earth. The papers are about sixteen inches 
square, and contain a number of small blanks on which are 
German inscriptions. They are old family-record designs, but 
the blank spaces are filled with matter that furnishes no family 
historical information except the date and place of Mr. Rohrer's 
birth, and the fact of his marriages. 

As to the date of Christian Rohrer's settlement in Walsing- 
ham, there is nothing definite. Simpson McCall, Esq., says 
that Rohrer and Dedrick were living there when his grand- 
father landed at the mouth of Big Creek in 1796, and that 
they each had a piece of wheat which had been sown the 
previous fall. If this be correct, the Rohrers were among the 
first after Dr. Troyer in effecting a settlement in the town- 
ship of Walsingham. Mrs. Rohrer was a Baumwart (Bower), 
and her family came subsequently. 

Christian Rohrer had twelve children. By his first wife he 
had two Martin and Fanny ; and by his second he had ten 
Henry, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Catherine, Daniel, John, 
Susan, David and Jacob. 

Martin Rohrer never married, and FANNY married a man 
named Garrett. and settled in Bayham. 

Henry Rohrer, second son of Christian, married Eleanor 
McCleish, and settled in Walsingham. He had five sons- 
Daniel, John, Henry, Wallace and David ; and five daughters- 
Susan, Ann, Frances, Jane and Amelia. 

Daniel Rohrer, third son of Christian, married Jane 
McCleish and settled in W T alsingham. He had eight children 
Martha, Orineus, Catherine, Phoebe, Mary, Susan, Amy and 

John Rohrer, fourth son of Christian, married Mary 
Edwards, and settled in Nissouri. One son in this family, 
Jeremiah, settled in Norfolk. 

' David Rohrer, fifth son of Christian, married Sophronia, 
daughter of Deacon Troyer, and settled in Illinois. 

Jacob Rohrer, sixth son of Christian, married Mary Ann 
W 7 illiams, and settled in Walsingham. They had one son, 


John ; and four daughters -Elizabeth, Eliza Jane, Almira and 

daughters of Christian Rohrer, married, respectively, James 
Price, Philip Underhill, David Underbill, Luke Dedrick and 
Titus Williams. They all settled in Walsingham. 

In Philip Underbill's family were three sons John, 
William and Edward ; and tw r o daughters Mary and Nancy. 

The descendants of Christian Rohrer are very numerous in 
Walsingham. The females have largely outnumbered the 
males, and the name, therefore, as it appears on the voters' 
lists of the township, is no indication of the numerical strength 
of the family. As voters they may be outnumbered by some 
of the other old families, but a roll-call of the wives and 
mothers of Walsingham's voters, through whose veins course 
the Rohrer blood, would show not only the numerical strength 
of Christian Rohrer's descendants, but it would also show 
their superior industrial and moral qualities. In 1891, the 
autographs of seventy-six Rohrers, all living in the township 
of Walsingham, were obtained by a member of the Illinois 
branch of the family. Of course, the larger portion were girls 
attending the township schools, who will become wives and 
mothers in other families, thereby losing their own family 

Henry Baumwart was a brother of Mrs. Christian Rohrer. 
Mr. Baumwart, no doubt, came from near the same place his 
brother-in-law came from, although it is said he was a 
Pennsylvania Dutchman. He came after Mr. Rohrer, but just 
how long after there is no evidence to show. He settled on 
Lot 12, concession A., Walsingham, between Port Rowan and 
Port Royal. He had four sons Frederick, Henry, Jacob and 
David ; and four daughters Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth and 

Frederick Baumwart, eldest son of Henry, married Fanny 
Becker, and settled in the family neighborhood. He had one 
son, John ; and four daughters Margaret, Maria, Catherine 
and Susan. 


Henry Baumwart, second son of Henry, was twice married. 
By his first wife, Nancy Foster, he had one son, Isaac, and 
four daughters Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Anise and Laura. His 
second wife was Mrs. Rachel Huff nee Rachel Smith, daughter 
of the old pioneer athlete, William Smith. By this union he 
had several children who, after his death, settled in Michigan 
with their mother. When war was declared in 1812, Henry 
Baumwart had no inclination to take up arms against the land 
of his birth, and he left Canada, remaining away for several 
years. He returned, however, and ever after was a tirrn 
believer in the superior advantages which his adopted country 
possessed over the land of his birth in the development of a 
moral, law-abiding and God-fearing citizenship. 

Jacob Baumwart, third son of Henry, married Sarah Smith, 
and settled on the homestead. He had one son, Owen ; and 
two daughters Susan and Mary. . Owen succeeded to the 
homestead. Mary married Lot Spencer. 

David Baumwart, youngest son of the old pioneer, married 
Julia, daughter of Oliver Mabee, and settled in Chariot teville. 
By this marriage he had two sons Henry and Gideon ; and 
four daughters Rebecca Ann, Mary Jane, Rachel and Julia. 
Subsequently, he married Mary Frances, by whom he had two 
sons Gabriel and David ; and one daughter, Eliza. 

Susan Baumwart, daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Eber Decew; and her sister, CATHERINE, married Isaac Decew. 
The names of their children are given in the Decew genealogy. 

Elizabeth Baumwart, the third daughter, married William 
Ferris, and settled near Port Colborne, where she raised a 
family of five sons William, Owen, Isaac, Joshua and J ohn ; 
and five daughters Susan, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth and Sarah. 

Mary Baumwart, the eldest daughter, married into the 
Rohrer family. 

The Dutch form of the family name has been discarded, 
and the Anglicized form Bower adopted in its stead. 

The pioneer head of the family died in the beginning of 
the second quarter of the century, and his widow survived 
him several years. 




OLD age has its comforts 
as well as middle life and 
youth. Youth finds its com- 
forts in hopes and aspira- 
tions ; middle life, in achieve- 
ments ; and old age, in golden 
fruition. There are only three 
steps from the cradle to the 
grave, marking three distinct 
periods of human existence. 
The first step means choice 
and preparation ; the second, 
busy activity ; and the third, 
rest and reflection. If we 
neglect the first, we shuffle 
into the second, where we are 
jostled about in the busy 
world, and if the active forces 
tumble us into a place of use- 
fulness we may redeem ourselves ; but, whether chance permits 
us to make amends for the neglect of youth or not, time shoves 
us on into the third and last period, where for a brief time we 
live in the reflection of the past, and then comes the end. The 
youth who idles away the fleeting moments, without a thought 
or care as to the part he is to play in the great drama of life, 
not only robs himself of the real, solid comforts of youth, but 
he nips in the bud the comforts of middle life and old age as 



well. By thus idling away his morning hours, he is forced to 
enter life's great contest with no fixed purpose in view, and 
without the qualifications necessary to ensure success ; and to 
fall short of success in life's contest is to make a comfortable 
old age quite impossible. There is one essential upon which 
the comforts of old age depend that is absolutely indispensable. 
It matters not how elaborately upholstered the easy chair 
may be, it cannot make up for a life ill-spent. Old age that 
possesses not the consciousness of having improved the golden 
opportunities of the past, and of having performed the duties 
of life fearlessly and conscientiously, knows nothing of the 
real comforts of old age. 

No more striking illustration of the comforts of a good, ripe 
old age can be found than that which the home of Simpson 
McCall, Esq., of Vittoria, presents. He is in his ninety-first 
year, and she who won his first love in the days of " auld lang 
syne," when she was known and admired by many a stalwart 
young settler as Miss Priscilla Lamport, is still the sharer of 
his joys and his sorrows. Together they have fought the 
battles of life successfully, and now, in their declining years, 
they sit under their own vine and fig-tree and enjoy the fruit 
of their industry together. It is very seldom, indeed, that we 
find a husband and wife who have lived as many years together ; 
and when we find people of their age possessing such vigorous 
mental powers and retaining so much of the intellectual attain- 
ments of their younger days, it certainly calls for more than a 
mere passing comment. 

Mrs. McCall was born in the famous Cheddar cheese section 
of Somersetshire, England, in 1818, and to her intellectual 
accomplishments may be attributed, in no small degree, the 
large measure of success which has attended Mr. McCall's 
public life. 

Mr. McCall came of splendid parentage. He is the grand- 
son of that staunch, loyal old Highlander, Donald McCall, who 
fought under General Wolfe at the taking of Louisburg, C.B., 
and, subsequently, at the capture of Quebec. His grandmother, 


on his father's side, was Elsie Simpson, sister of David 
Simpson, who was President Ulysses Simpson Grant's grand- 
father. This would make Mr. McCall and U. S. Grant second 

Simpson McCall was the eldest son of James McCall, who 
was the fourth son of Donald McCall. Simpson was in his 
thirteenth year when his father died. At this early age the 
boy was called upon to exercise the mettle that was in him in 
assuming the cares and responsibilities of looking after things. 
There were six brothers and three sisters, all younger than 
himself, a widowed mother and an aged grandmother to look 
after, beside the management of the farm. Of course, his 
uncles looked after things ; but from that time he felt that 
grave responsibilities were his, and he resolved to do his level 
best. When in his fourteenth year he summer-fallowed twenty- 
nine acres, and thus commenced the real work of life. 

Mr. McCall gave a good share of his life to the public, and 
this public service is a matter of history, known to everyone 
who keeps himself posted in public affairs. In his younger 
days, a republican form of government seemed to him as though 
it might be the most natural form of government for a free, 
enlightened people. These early thoughts never led his sympa- 
thies astray, or weakened his love for the Old Flag his grand- 
father fought under. In 1832 he visited New York and New 
Jersey, and during this visit he made a careful note of the 
practical effects of republicanism in those States, and came 
home with a firm belief that republicanism may sound all 
right in theory, but in its tendency to develop a moral and 
order-loving citizenship it was, practically, a most dismal 
failure. In all his public career, however, Mr. McCall has 
been moderate in dealing with party questions. He was 
always opposed to political ultraism, and he deplores the 
evils which have been caused by party strife. With him it 
has always been principles first, and party last. He has 
always been identified with one of the great political parties, 
but whenever his party departed from principle, according to 


his judgment, he departed from his party. Independent in 
thought and action, he has always been a strong, fearless advo- 
cate of any measure he conscientiously believed would tend to 
the betterment of township, county, or provincial conditions. 
His watchword has ever been " Economy." Mr. McCall has 
been an economist from the very morning he held aloft one 
end of the ox-yoke and, waving the ox-bow, shouted, " Come 
under, Buck ! " preparatory to the starting of the plough on 
that twenty-nine acre fallow, down to the present day. 
Economy in private life stamped prosperity on everything 
he touched ; and his advocacy of economy in the management 
of public affairs kept many a hard-earned dollar in the pockets 
of the taxpayers. Many illustrations might be cited in proof 
of this, but one only will be given here. When Mr. McCall 
first entered the District Council, in 1848, he found that the 
district printing cost the taxpayers too much money. He 
possessed sufficient business acumen to know that the price 
paid was an extravagant one, and he advocated the plan of 
letting the work by public tender. The result of this change 
was that the next year's printing bill was very much reduced. 
Among the many measures of retrenchment advocated by him 
during his fighting days were : Increase of Division Court 
jurisdiction, and thereby reducing the Quarter Sessions to two 
annual sessions, instead of four ; and the abolition of the Court 
of Chancery by merger with the Common Pleas. 

Of James McCall's family, only two are living Simpson, 
the eldest, and Jacob, the youngest. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson 
McCall have been blessed with six children, all of whom are 
living and occupying prominent and useful positions in life 
George, who occupies the old homestead, being the present 
Reeve of Charlotteville. 



THE head of one of our most numerous and highly-respected 
families came to Long Point before the province was four 
years old, and before the lands in old Charlotteville were sur- 
veyed, a young man, unaccompanied by relatives and possessing 
no wealth; yet, although poor in this world's goods, he was 
abundantly rich in better things. He possessed a brave, 
honest heart, and when he landed at the mouth of Big Creek, 
on the 5th day of June, 1796, he stepped ashore with his Bible 
under his arm. The principles of Christianity had been 
instilled into his mind when but a child by a Christian mother, 
and faith in God was a cardinal principle firmly imbedded in 
the concrete of his being. The old Bible was dear to him 
because it was the word of the living God the great chart of 
human life that taught him how to live, thereby learning how 
to die. It taught him how to be brave, patient and virtuous, 
and it taught him how to erect a Christian altar in his new 
home in the forest so that his children and his neighbors' 
children might at all times see and feel the bright and shining 
light that radiated from it. Is it any wonder that Thomas 
Price had the courage to turn his back on his New Jersey 
home and start off on a five hundred mile journey through an 
unknown region, and brave the hardships and privations 
encountered in the work of hewing out a home for himself in 
a dense, unbroken wilderness ? The same God who had com- 
forted and solaced his mother, and watched over his cradle in 
New Jersey, would be just as near to him in his new home, 


and would remain the same source of comfort in the hour of 

Thomas Price came to Long Point with the party of U. E. 
Loyalists that landed at Port Royal in 1796, a description of 
which is given in sketch, " A Pioneer Wheatfield." 

Thomas Price married Frances Montross, and settled on 
Lot 24, 3rd concession of Walsingham. Here, after the pioneer 
wedding, he took his young bride and planted a Christian 
home ; and here he raised his family, and by patient industry, 
prudent management and untiring perseverance, made one of 
the most comfortable and most valuable homes in Walsingharn 
in his day. This home was noted for its Christian influences 
and its generous hospitality. It was a home where the press 
of business cares and responsibilities were never permitted to 
interrupt or crowd out the daily religious exercises ; and, 
what is not at all common, it was a home where the younger 
members of the family were taught to take part in the religious 
exercises. Mr. Price believed in the Christian principle of 
returning good for evil, and his faith was exemplified in his 
good works. To show the character of the man it is only 
necessary to mention one of many similar incidents which 
might be cited. One winter in the earlier part of his life he 
.discovered that his corn was disappearing faster than it should, 
and he concluded to set a trap in the crib. A morning or 
two after, he found a man in the crib with both hands fast in 
the trap. He knew the man, and thus accosted him : 

"Why, good morning, Mr. Morrison, are you in trouble? 
Why didn't you call for help ? " 

He then liberated the unfort.unate purioiner of corn, took 
him into the house, washed the blood off his wounded hands, 
bandaged them, and then made him sit down and listen to the 
reading of a portion of Scripture and the morning prayer. 
The poor fellow was then made to join the family at breakfast, 
but his appetite was not very good that morning, and the 
little he ate came near choking him. Mr. Price talked of 
different things but never once alluded to the unpleasant 


circumstance that was the cause of his neighbor's visit. After 
breakfast Mr. Price invited him to come again, and bade him 
good morning. The effect produced by these " hot coals " on 
Morrison's head was something terrible, and he sincerely 
repented of his misdeeds all the days of his life. 

During Duncan McCalPs parliamentary term the lighthouse 
on Long Point was built. Mr. McCall was one of the Light- 
house Commissioners, and when it was completed, in 1832, he 
appointed Thomas Price to the position of lighthouse -keeper. 
One wild stormy night a vessel went ashore about seven miles 
down the Point. It was a fearful night, but Mr. Price and 
his family turned out of their comfortable quarters and hast- 
ened to' the wreck where they rendered heroic aid in rescuing 
the unfortunate crew. 

Thomas Price had seven sons Stephen, Peter, David, 
Thomas, Aaron, James and George ; and live daughters 
Hannah, Leah, Phoebe, Rebecca and Eva. He died in 1836, in 
his 60th year. 

Stephen Price, eldest son of Thomas, was married three 
times. By his first wife, Mary Ellis, he had two sons Thomas 
and Dr. Edwin, who settled in Aylmer ; and three daughters 
Rosamond, Eva and Mary. There was no issue in the second 
marriage. By his third wife, Esther Ann Franklin, he had 
three sons W. P. Price (the Simcoe merchant), Stephen and 
Horatio, who died young. 

Peter Price, second son of Thomas, married Mary Jane 
Gillespie and settled on the Charlotteville side opposite the 
old homestead. He had three sons William G., John M. G. 
and George; and four daughters Emaline, Ruth, Sarah Jane 
and Almira. Peter died since this sketch was first written, 
in his 88th year. His youngest son, George, occupies the 

David Price, third son of Thomas, never married. He also 
settled on the Charlotteville side. He is living and has reached 


his 88th year. 

Thomas Price, fifth son of Thomas, married Jane Woodruff' 


and settled in the home neighborhood. He had nine children 
Martha Ann, Melissa, Harriet, Maria, Hannah, Edgar Culver, 
Daton, Addie and Bertie. All settled in the Price neighbor- 
hood. Thomas died in 1871, in his 61st year. 

Aaron Price, sixth son of Thomas, married Esther Hammond, 
and settled in Aylmer. He had one son, David. 

James Price, seventh son of Thomas, married Emmer Oaks, 
and succeeded his father on the old homestead. He had three 
sons Aaron Wesley, DeWitt and George Wallace; and two 
daughters Fanny and Flora. All settled near the old home. 
James died in 1882, in his 65th year. 

George Price, youngest son of Thomas, died quite young. 

As to the daughters of Thomas Price, the old pioneer, 
HANNAH, the eldest and first born child, married Ephraim 
Tisdale, of Charlotteville. Her children are enumerated in the 
Tisdale genealogy. She was about eighty-four when she died. 
LEAH died single, and PHCEBE married Butler Hutchinson, and 
settled in Port Eowan. REBECCA was twice married William 
Oaks being her first, and Richard Oaks her second husband. 
She died in 1878 in her 59th year, leaving no children. EVA, 
the youngest daughter, died single. 

Thomas Price, the old pioneer, ,was the son of Stephen 
Price, of New Jersey. In his father's family were six sons 
Thomas, David, Stephen, Moses Comet, James and Benjamin ; 
and six daughters Jemima, Hannah, Saria, Phoebe, Rebecca 
and Esther. 

The New Jersey home was at Elizabeth, in Union County. 
The New Jersey maternal ancestor's maiden name was Hannah 
Chandler. The father was born in 1753, and was forty-three 
years old when Thomas, his eldest son, a mere lad of nineteen, 
bade his parents and little brothers and sisters farewell, and 
started for the wilds of Upper Canada falling in, by the way, 
with the McCall party of U. E. Loyalists. In after years, 
when his New Jersey brothers had grown into manhood, two 
of them Stephen and James came to Long Point settlement. 
The former was born in 1788, and the latter was born in 17%, 
the year Thomas left home. 


Stephen Price, third son of New Jersey Stephen, settled 
near his brother, Thomas. He was twice married. By his- 
first wife he had three sons Peter, Robert and John ; and by 
his second wife, Jane Power, he had two sons John Tower 
and Thomas; and two daughters Jane Elizabeth and Mary 
Ann. PETER kept a hotel at St. Williams several years. He 
was a great hunter, and was known as " Price Procunier." 

James Price, fifth son of New Jersey Stephen, married Mary 
Rohrer and settled in the Price neighborhood. He had two 
sons Stephen and John ; and three daughters Mary, Hannah 
and Susanna. 

The descendants of Stephen Price, of New Jersey, have 
become very numerous and widely scattered. They are of 
Welsh origin, but it is not known when the grand- American, 
ancestor emigrated from Wales. 



SINCE " Glorious Old Norfolk " has had a court jurisdiction 
of her own, she has never been obliged to perform the solemn 
'duty of hanging any of her incorrigible and blood-thirsty 
citizens. That such have lived within her borders may be 
quite possible ; but the fact that there has been no occasion for 
" springing the trap " on any of them, is something for which 
our county is to be congratulated. 

That a gallows was once erected during the Court-house 
times of old Vittoria, for the hanging of two horse-thieves, is 
.a little matter of history known to all. Indeed, were it not for 
the fact that so many conflicting stories have been told and 
published relating to this affair, the writer would devote but 
little space to it. Several years ago a highly-sensational 
.account of it was published in a Chicago paper. It was a 
precious bit of fiction, the writer keeping Ryerson on his knees 
eighteen hours praying, to kill time, thereby preventing the 
:sheriff from performing his duty until the arrival of the 

The following version of the affair was given by a living 
, eye- witness, who was nearly a man grown at the time. He is 
well known as a man of veracity, possesses a remarkably good 
memory, and his description is, no doubt, correct. 

He says : " The culprits' names were Smith and Carr 
Smith was an American, Carr was an Irishman. The crime 
committed was that of horse-stealing. The horse stolen be- 
longed to a settler living near St. Thomas. They were tried 
and convicted at Vittoria, and sentenced to be hanged on 
a certain day in September, 1824, at one o'clock in the after- 


noon. The gallows was erected near the spot now occupied by < 
the enclosed stairway leading to the front entrance of the i 
Baptist Church. It was made of heavy timbers about ten 
inches square and in the form of a " bent," with the posts or 
upright timbers set in the ground. When the frame was com- 
pleted and the holes dug, the workmen were unable to raise it. 
Several spectators were standing about, and Sheriff Rapelje 
called for help, but no one responded. The Sheriff repeated his 
request, but in a more peremptory manner, threatening to 
arrest the bystanders if they did not respond. Dr. Monroe 
then stepped forward followed by others. It was a heavy lift, 
being of sufficient dimensions to form a bent in a saw-mill. 
When the time for execution drew near, a cart drawn by one 
horse emerged from the jail, bearing the two prisoners, who sat 
back to back, and the constable, Abraham Havens, who had 
immediate charge of them. The Sheriff walked in front, and 
on either side of the' cart walked two constables. When the 
cart came under the horizontal beam it halted, and the Sheriff 
climbed a ladder and adjusted the ropes. He then took out 
his watch and announced that the prisoners had fifteen minutes 
yet to live. Elder Freeman then came forward and offered up 
a prayer, followed by Dr. Ryerson. After these two prayers 
were made, the Sheriff again looked at his watch and said that 
eight minutes yet remained. The prisoners were asked if they 
had anything to say. Smith said nothing ; but Carr spoke a 
few words that brought tears into the eyes of nearly everyone 
in that mixed crowd of men, women and children. He warned 
the young men present never to throw aside the advice and 
counsel of their parents, and to shun bad company. He told 
them to take warning from his own sad plight and lead honest, 
virtuous lives. He said he had been blessed with a praying 
mother, but he had not given heed to her instructions, and 
now he was about to suffer the terrible consequences of his 

"Carr must have occupied three minutes of the time, for 
when he ceased speaking, the Sheriff 'announced that five 
minutes yet remained. Immediately after this Dr. Eolph rode 


up on horseback and handed the Sheriff a sealed packet. The 
sheriff broke the seal, glanced hastily at the contents, and then 
ordered the constables to reconduct the prisoners to the jail. 
The document was from the Lieutenant-Governor who had 
granted a reprieve for three months. Before the time expired 
it was renewed for another, three months, at the end of which 
time they were pardoned upon condition that they immediately 
leave the country and never return. When the good news was 
communicated to the prisoners, Smith took his departure at 
once, but Carr refused to go. He said he was guilty and 
deserved punishment, and that he would never be better pre- 
pared to die. The next day the poor fellow was forcibly ejected 
from the jail, and was never heard of after. Smith was a 
hardened criminal. The very first night after he received his 
pardon, he stole a horse from Captain Owen, just south of 
Simcoe, and rode out of the country on it, crossing the river at 
Fort Erie, about two hours in advance of his pursuers. 

"The reprieve was granted in response to a numerously signed 
petition, and had been in Dr. Rolph's hands two or three days 
preceding the day fixed for execution, but was withheld to the 
very last moment in order that the ' example ' might not lose 
any of its force. William Parke was the jailer at this time." 

As before stated, the above account of this historical event 
was given by a creditable living eye-witness in fact, the only 
person living who remembers all the connecting details. 
Edward J. Kniffin, the veteran shoemaker, was also an eye- 
witness, and while he does not remember the particulars, he is 
quite positive in asserting that no such protracted prayer was 
made on that occasion as has been described in the various 
newspaper publications. 

Among the historical data bearing on this event, is the 
following item, clipped from an Erie paper. It bears no date 
and reads as follows : 

" Richard Carr, an old Canadian octogenarian, who had 
lived on this side of the lake for many years, died on Monday 
last, and was taken to Ontario for interment." 

The Hamilton Daily Spectator, of March 18th, 1884, pub- 
lished an interview had with Dr. M. J. Clark, who had met 
Richard Carr in Pennsylvania. Dr. Clark is a nephew of Dr. 
John Ryerson, and the interview was published two years after 


that reverend gentleman's death. The following is a skeleton 
copy of the interview : 

" I had no idea that Carr was living, having heard nothing 
of him for thirty years ; I supposed him long since dead. His 
arrest, conviction, sentence and escape are events closely con- 
nected with my family and childhood my uncle, Rev. John 
Ryerson, being the clergyman who attended Carr to the 
scaffold, and who prayed against time for the purpose of cheat- 
ing the hangman. ... I was a child at the time, and it 
happened ac Vittoria . . . about fifty-five years ago. 

. . Carr was a quiet, inoffensive young man, and so was 
Smith, who was condemned to die with him. . . . One day, 
I remember well, the village was thrown into great excitement 
by the discovery of a crime, for which the penalty was death. 

. . . Some one had stolen an ox. A diligent search 
resulted in the discovery of the hide, and suspicion fell upon 
Carr, who was known to be poor, and in whose house the odor 
of cooked meat still hung. . . . The culprits were brought 
on trial, and a jury of twelve fellow-men found no difficulty in 
consigning both of them to the scaffold, after the learned judge 
had expatiated for hours upon the enormity of the crime against 
God and man. . . . Among those who were horrified and 
shocked at the approaching execution were my uncle, the 
spiritual adviser of the poor fellows, and Dr. John Rolph, whose 
memory still clings to the village. . . . Dr. Rolph was 
more excited than any other of Smith and Carr's sympathizers. 
He determined to ride to Toronto and intercede with the 
Governor, who, I think, was Sir John Colborne. Before depart- 
ing on his hazardous errand of mercy, Dr. Rolph was closeted 
with my uncle. The latter subsequently told me that he had 
agreed to delay the hanging all he could by making the closing 
prayer as long as his strength and power would permit, pro- 
vided that Rolph had not returned. Good Dr. Rolph calculated 
on getting back a few hours before the time set for execution. 
He set out on the swiftest horse to be had in the village. . . . 
The days flew on and the people flocked in from the surround- 
ing country. Uncle John did all he could to comfort the 
doomed men and lead them to a realization of a greater mercy 
than man's, but they refused to be comforted. The fatal 
morning came, but without any tidings of Dr. Rolph. The 
hour arrived and the men were led out to die . . . Smith 
and Carr were placed in position and when the hangman's little 
preliminaries were over, the Sheriff was informed that all was 


ready for the parson's final blessing or prayer. The Rev. John 
Ryerson got down on his knees and began the longest and most 
remarkable prayer on record. His voice was low, purposely, 
for he wished to husband his vocal strength. He prayed for 
about twenty minutes without creating remark, for long 
prayers were not so distasteful then as now. When he entered 
upon the second half hour, great restlessness was manifested. 
The sun poured down 011 the uncovered heads, and many did 
not hesitate to say aloud that they were getting too much of a 
good thing. . . . The murmurs rose higher and higher, but 
uncle prayed on and on without ceasing. An hour passed and he 
was still on his knees. There was now no relevancy in his 
appeal. He uttered merely words and disconnected phrases to 
consume time. The muscles of his throat contracted, his tongue 
was dry and clave to his mouth and his voice was husky ; but 
he prayed on, the w r ords falling without meaning upon his 
hearers. He told me later that he did not know what he was 
saying, and that the only real prayer uttered in all that time 
was a silent one composed of four words : ' God hasten Rolph's 
footsteps.' ... At the end of an hour and a half there was 
quite an uproar, and the discontent had almost become a riot, 
when a voice cried : ' Here comes Dr. Rolph ! ' My uncle did 
not hear or heed the new tumult that now arose, but he prayed 
on, becoming weaker each moment. Soon the horseman 
approached near enough to be recognized, and the doctor 
dashed up to the very foot of the scaffold, scattering people 
right and left. He was too weak to speak or move, but a man 
in the crowd, snatching a document from his hand and mount- 
ing on the back of the horse, shouted, ' Reprieve ! Reprieve ! ' It 
was so ; and that is how Carr and Smith were saved." 

The above version is more reasonable and does not contain 
as much of the sensational element as many others which have 
been published. 

But there was one man hanged on Xorfolk soil. It occurred 
when Turkey Point was headquarters for London District. 
The criminal was a negro, convicted of robbing a store an act 
which the law at that time made a felony, punishable by death. 
The store which was the scene of the robbery, was the second 
one in point of time started in Long Point Settlement. It was 
kept by one Cuinmings, and was located on William Culver's 
place known in modern times as the old Joseph Culver farm, 


near St. John's Church, south of Simcoe. After committing 
the crime, the negro tried to sell some of the stolen goods by 
peddling them among the settlers. The goods were easily 
identified, and this led to his arrest. He was tried, convicted 
and sentenced to be hanged, but before the day for execution 
arrived, he broke jail and escaped. Sheriff Bostwick offered a 
reward of $50 for his apprehension. A man named Robert 
Wood caught him in the cedars on Turkey Point, by first 
breaking his arm with a rifle shot. The sentence was suspended 
until he recovered from the effects of the wound. Joseph 
Kitchen was sergeant of the prison guards at Fort Norfolk at 
the time of this hanging. He saw the negro put into his coffin, 
and reported that he was alive when put there ; and it was his 
opinion that complete consciousness would have resulted, if the 
men charged with the duty of burying the body had performed 
their duty with less precipitation. 

A story has been told and, in fact, published from one end 
of the country to the other, pertaining to the hanging of this 
negro, which may or may not be true. It is a good story and 
will bear repeating in connection with this sketch. 

The man who was Sheriff of old London District at this 
time was endowed, it is said, with a sporting nature which 
caused him to quite overlook the proper dignities of his office, 
and came near subjecting him to an official decapitation. It is 
said this negro was to have been hanged on a Thursday, and 
that the week before, the Sheriff had received notice from a 
number of his distant sporting friends that they would be up to 
Long Point the following week for a few days' sport. This was 
jolly news for the gamey Sheriff' but there was the hanging 
of that " peskey nigger." How could he arrange that ? Well, 
it is said, he did arrange it with the assistance of the negro 
himself. He went to his cell and asked him if he would as 
soon be hanged on Tuesday as on Thursday. " Well, Sheriff,", 
said the negro, " you have bun so kind to me in de jail dat I 
don't want to spile yer sport. You can hang me on Tuesday, 
but do it early in the mawnin', just as I wake up." It is said 
he was hanged accordingly. 



IN pioneer times, St. Williams was known as " Neil's 
Corners." It was named St. Williams by one, Dickinson, in 
honor of King William IV. " Duitcher's Corners " was named 
Port Rowan, and " Big Creek " received the geographical 
appellation of " River Rowan," in honor of Colonel Rowan, 
private secretary to Sir John Colborne. 

Old St. Williams is one of the pleasantest villages in 
Norfolk County. Its streets are level and beautifully shaded ; 
its gardens are rich, and its cosy leaf -embowered homes 
indicate a taste for arboriculture on the part of its home-owners. 
Its lake breezes are most delightful being wafted just far 
enough over-land to temper their rawness. It is surrounded 
by one of the best sections of country in the county. The 
traveller who approaches St. W 7 illiams from the east or north 
for the first time, feels as though he had been suddenly trans- 
ported to some far-off land of milk and honey, and he enters 
the old village so favorably impressed that there may be some 
danger of over-estimating its real merits. In the homes of St. 
William's are found the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and 
great-great-grandchildren of many of the old Long Point 
pioneers. The present Postmaster, Mr. John Cope, is a great- 
grandson of the man who first settled on the land upon which 
the Post-office and all the Walsingham part of the village 

William Cope was the name of this old pioneer. The 
Cope family is of German descent. The Cope brothers 
were U. E. Loyalists, and were born on Long Island. 


They settled at Niagara in 1794, it is said, and two or three 
years afterwards, one of them, William, came up to Long 
Point and settled on Lot 24, lake front of Walsingham. Here, 
on the high bank overlooking Erie's broad expanse, he erected 
his log cabin about a hundred years ago, For many years the 
place was known as Cope's Landing. The fall before he came 
up he had put in a piece of wheat at Niagara, and when the 
harvest time came he went down to harvest it, leaving the 
young mother in the lonely cabin with her little children and 
a single loaf of bread. While at Niagara Mr. Cope was 
stricken down with a fever, and it was six weeks before he was 
able to return to his new home. During this time the pioneer 
mother had tastes of pioneer life that would have unnerved 
many a less courageous woman. There were two or three 
settlers in the vicinity, and upon these Mrs. Cope was forced 
to rely for necessary supplies, which she carried long distances 
through the woods. On one occasion, while carrying a pail of 
flour, she espied a wolf following in the trail. At first she 
was inclined to compromise by surrendering the flour, but 
when she thought of her hungry children in the little cabin 
with not a mouthful to eat, she looked up above the tree-tops 
for strength and resolved to cling to the pail and trust to 
Providence. The wolf followed but did not attack her, and 
she reached home in safety, although nearly exhausted. On 
another occasion two or three Indians stalked into the cabin in 
a most insolent manner, which, in honor to the old Long 
Point Indians be it said, was quite unusual. A small piece of 
cotton lay on the rude table, and the Indians demanded it. It- 
was all she had and she determined to keep it, if possible. 
Placing her baby upon the cloth she stepped to the door and 
called for her husband. But the ruse did not work; the 
Indians knew that Mr. Cope had not returned, and they per- 
sisted in their demands for the cotton. They, no doubt, would 
have forcibly taken it had not one of her boys, who was out 
shooting, fortunately shot off his gun. The report frightened 
the Indians, and they suddenly took their departure. 


Copetown, in Wentworth County, was named after a 
branch of the Cope family that settled there. William Cope, 
the subject of this sketch, was a God-fearing man of most 
exemplary character. He was quiet and unobtrusive in 
manners attended strictly to his own affairs, and won the 
love and respect of his fellow pioneers. He died in 1813, in 
his 57th year, leaving two sons Jacob and Thomas. 

Jacob Cope, eldest son of William, married Elizabeth 
Procunier, and settled on the old homestead. He had four 
sons Thomas, John, Peter and William Henry ; and one 
daughter, Margaret, who married James Lucas. She is now a 
widow and lives in St. Williams. Jacob Cope was at the 
battle of Lundy's Lane in Colonel Bostwick's command, and 
was wounded. 

Thomas Cope, youngest son of William, married Catherine 
Manuel, and settled on part of the old homestead. He had 
five sons William, Frederick, Jonas, Thomas and Daniel ; and 
six daughters Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Hulda, Jane Ann and 
Hannah. All settled in Norfolk, except two of the daughters. 
John Cope, the Postmaster of St. Williams, is a son of 
Frederick, second son of Thomas, and is one of Norfolk's 
ex- wardens, having occupied the Executive chair in 1894. 



IT was a red-letter day for the old Long Point settlers 
when the first local grist-mill made its appearance. At first 
they were compelled to go all the way to the Niagara river to 
get their grinding done, or else be content with the home 
process of crushing the grain in a . " stump mortar." Later on 
the celebrated " sugar loaf " mill appeared, shortening the 
distance by several miles ; but when the first Norfolk mills 
made their appearance it was a time of general rejoicing in the 

In the early days the mills regulated their own toll rates 
without any regard to uniformity. Before there was any 
legislation on the subject the officers of the British army 
assumed the duty of regulating miller's tolls; but as settle- 
ment advanced a need was felt for a statutory enactment that 
would establish a uniform rate for the new province. A bill 
was accordingly introduced in one of the early sessions fixing 
the rate at one-tenth in all water mills. This was the rule in 
England and in the neighboring States, and it ought to have 
been the rule established in this Province. But discreditable 
as it may appear, it is said that a member of the new Legislature, 
who was a Dutchman, opposed the rate fixed in the bill on the 
ground that it was insufficient. He said " von-tenth vas not 
kanuff to pay dot millars to pild dose mills." He moved that 
it be raised " from von-tenth to von-twelf," and his amend- 
ment carried. The people's representatives meant all right, 
but it would seem that a majority of them had never 
" ciphered " as far as vulgar fractions. 

The Gustin mill was the first mill erected on the old mill- 
site located just east of Vittoria on Lot 23, in the 3rd concession. 
John Gustin was a U. E. Loyalist of New York. He came to 


Long Point in 1794 and drew Lot 11 in the 3rd concession in 
addition to the lot mentioned above. The mill was erected 
during the latter half of the first decade of the present century, 
about the time the Finch mill was built at Newport, or " The 
Glen," as it is now called. The oak tree which furnished the 
ponderous shaft for the big under- shot water wheel, stood in 
the forest about three miles north of Vittoria ; and when it 
was felled and the timber prepared for removal, it required 
fourteen yoke of oxen to haul it to the mill. It was over three 
feet in diameter, and the arms framed into it were fifteen feet 
long, making a wheel over ninety feet in circumference. 

John Gustin was held in high esteem by his fellow-pioneers. 
He was honest in business transactions and temperate in his 
habits. He was one of the original members of the old Baptist 
church at Vittoria, which was organized in 1804. He was 
appointed constable for Charlotte ville in 1801 by the old 
London District Court which was held at that time at the 
house of James Monroe. 

Mr. Gustin gave the mill property to his two sons Isaiah 
and Eliphalet, who inherited the sterling qualities of character 
which so signally distinguished their father. The Gustins were 
honest millers, although the proverbial "tuft of hair" did not 
grow in the palms of their hands. They did good work and 
gave complete satisfaction to their numerous patrons. To give 
the reader some idea of prices and transportation charges at 
this time, one incident will suffice. James McCall turned in 
wheat at the Gustin mill in the year 1810, and had it manu- 
factured into flour. Two hundred barrels of this flour were 
shipped to Quebec where it sold for $16 per barrel. The 
charges for freight and inspection at Montreal amounted to 
$3 per barrel. This wheat averaged about forty bushels to 
the acre, and was marketed as will be seen by the above 
given figures at over $2.50 net per bushel. This is enough 
to make the farmers of our day sigh for " the good old times." 

Isaiah Gustin, the second son, was fond of children, and 
bitterly opposed to corporal punishment in the schools. He 
lived in part of a house located on Lot 22, which had formerly 


been occupied as a tavern by Thomas Finch. While Mr. 
Gustin was living in the place, the District Grammar School, 
taught by Dr. Egerton Ryerson, occupied the other part of 
the house. One of the pupils who was wont to disturb the 
doctor's mental serenity in those days, was Joseph Bostwick, a 
grandson of Colonel Bostwick, of Port Stanley. One day 
Enoch Moore passed by with his sleigh and young Bostwick 
pelted the occupants of the sleigh with snowballs. This was 
a gross violation of the rules and tended to lower the dignity 
of the London District Grammar School, and the worthy doctor 
took the young incorrigible in hand. After dodging the ruler 
several times, the doctor laid it over the boy's head, producing 
a slight cut on the face which bled a little. When Isaiah 
Gustin came up from the mill to dinner he heard of the affair 
and saw the mark on Joseph's face. This was enough ; he lost 
his equilibrium and informed the dignified doctor that if he 
would be so kind and obliging as to step out of doors he would 
mop the ground with him for several hundred yards around 
the school-room ; but the doctor declined the pressing invita- 
tion, and Isaiah had to work off his pent-up wrath by indulging 
in an outpouring of verbal explosions, which were everything 
but complimentary to the future Superintendent of Education 
or his little grammar school. He assumed all sorts of menacing 
attitudes and taunted the doctor with a lack of bravery, and 
told him he was no soldier or he would come outside and fight 
one of his own size. After awhile the women folks managed 
to get Isaiah into the house where his dinner was waiting, and 
the storm blew over. 

John Gustin married Abigail, daughter of Abraham Smith. 
He had three sons Charles, Isaiah and Eliphalet; and six 
daughters Abigail, Freelove, Jemima, Catherine, Salome and 

Charles Gustin, the eldest son, was a Baptist preacher. He 
married Nancy Sovereign and settled in Charlotteville, on one 
of the lots drawn by his father from Government. 

Isaiah Gustin the second son, married into the Edwards 
family, and settled on the homestead, inheriting a half-interest 


in the mill. After the mill was sold the family moved out of 
the county. 

Eliphalet Gustin, the youngest son, married Sarah Edwards 
and inherited a half-interest in the mill. After the disposal of 
his mill interest he settled in Lobo on a 500 acre tract of 
land drawn by George Byerson, on condition that he perform 
the settling duties on the whole in consideration of a deed of 
200 acres of the tract. 

Abigail Gustin, eldest daughter of John, married Simon 
Mabee, the old pioneer Baptist preacher, and settled in Oxford. 

Freelove Gustin, the second daughter, married one Emmanuel, 
and subsequently, John Stone. 

The family settled in the States. 

Three of John Gustin's daughters married into the Wood 
family, and settled in Oxford. 

About the only descendants of the original John Gustin at 
present living in Norfolk, are the descendants of his son 
Charles, who had a son Charles and four daughters Abigail, 
Patience, Elizabeth and Avangeline. 

Charles Gustin, son of Charles, and grandson of the original 
John, married Mary Underhill and settled on the old Ward 
homestead in Charlotteville. He had three sons John, 
Eliphalet and Charles ; and two daughters Jane and Amelia. 
JOHN marred Ellen Barber, and is a resident of the county ; 
ELIPHALET married Susan Hubbard, and lives near the site of 
the old mill ; CHARLES married Dorotha Canty and settled 
near Simcoe ; JANE married Amos Thompson and settled in 
Woodhouse, and AMELIA married George Hall and settled in 
Walsingham. These great-grandchildren of .the old pioneer all 
settled in Norfolk. < 

Abigail Gustin, daughter of Charles, son of John, married 
Isaac Handcock, and settled near Mount Elgin ; PATIENCE, 
sister of Abigail, married Daniel Ryan, and moved out of the 
county ; ELIZABETH, another sister, married Jacob Sovereign, 
and settled in Fredericksburg, now Delhi ; and AVANGELINE, 
the youngest sister, remained single, and resides with the 
family of John Hubbard, of Woodhouse. 



INDIVIDUALISM is a prominent feature of pioneer life. A 
young man who leaves the parental roof and all the fond 
associations of youth, and goes out into the world to hew out 
a home for himself, depending upon his own strong right arm 
for success, is a man of strong individuality. Such a man, of 
very necessity, is original in his methods. He relies upon self 
in his struggle with the world, and self-reliance develops orig- 
inality in thought and action. Hence, we find in each of our 
old pioneers some striking characteristics which are peculiarly 
his own, and which distinguish him from his fellow pioneers. 

Robert Shearer, the father of the Shearer family in Long 
Point country, was not an exception to the general rule. He 
was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, and was left an 
orphan at a tender age. His guardian bound him out to a 
" Jersey Dutchman," a farmer, where for eight years the grass 
was not permitted to grow under his feet. His experiences 
during this apprenticeship bred a determination to put as 
many miles as he possibly could between his Dutch master 
and himself as soon as his time was out. This service had 
one good effect, however : it developed an ambition to secure 
a home of his own and be his own master. Accordingly, when 
the time came, he packed up his worldly possessions and, stuff- 
ing them in the crown of his hat, started for Upper Canada. 
This was in 1797. He chose Lot 21 in the 6th concession of 
Charlotteville for a home, and put up his log cabin. The next 
thing necessary was a wife. Old Father Abraham Smith had 
come into the settlement several years before, and he had a 


number of comely daughters, who had arrived at a marriage- 
able age, and Robert went over and chose Rachel, and they were 
married. Robert was now ready for the work of life, and he 
commenced to slash down the forest and clear up his farm, and 
if Rachel did not help him she was not a Smith. 

One attraction which had much to do in causing Robert to 
choose this location was the spring creek which ran through 
it, and which was abundantly supplied with speckled trout. 
To-day, one might as well fish for trout on the top of one of 
Charlottville's sand-hills, for there is no creek there now. Little 
did Robert think when he built his log cabin on the bank of 
this stream that his grandchildren would see dust blown from 
its bed by the winds. 

Robert Shearer was a family disciplinarian, and a strict 
one, too. He was a man of few words, and his rules would, 
no doubt, be considered arbitrary in our time. His commands 
were given by look and gesture, and were understood by his 
children. His mode of punishing his children for infractions of 
the family code was unique, and is worthy of special mention. 
Holes were bored in the logs of the house at various distances 
from the floor, corresponding to the height of the different 
members of the family, and of sufficient diameter to admit 
the thumbs of the offenders. When the youthful spirit 
bubbled over the prescribed limit, the paternal head of the 
home circle would bestow a withering glance upon the luck- 
less offender and point to his or her aperture in the wall. This 
was all that was necessary. After time enough had elapsed 
for repentance, the young hopeful was permitted to remove his 
or her thumb. This custom was adopted, at first, by one of 
Robert's sons when he set up housekeeping for himself, although 
in his case a knot-hole in the door was made to answer in place 
of an artificial hole in the wall, and the nose of his incorrigible 
son had to do duty as a plug in place of a thumb. 

When war was declared in 1812, Robert Shearer offered his 
services to his country. At this time he had a considerable 
sum of money in his possession, and before leaving his home 


for the scene of hostilities he buried it behind the barn for safe 
keeping. His son John, who was twelve years old at the time, 
was entrusted with the secret, so that, in case he never returned, 
the family might recover the money. Shortly after the close 
of the war he built the frame house now occupied by his grand- 
son, which is one of the oldest and best preserved houses in the 
county. When he built his barn, the nails used in its construc- 
tion cost a bushel of wheat for each pound. 

Robert Shearer had six sons John, Joseph, Robert, David, 
Gabriel and James ; and six daughters Hannah, Miriam, Eliza- 
beth, Rachel, Esther and Jane. 

John Shearer, eldest son of Robert, married Margaret Leach, 
and settled in Charlotteville. He had four sons Robert, John, 
Joseph and Duncan ; and three daughters Sarah, Susan and 
Rachel. ROBERT married Elizabeth Duncan, and settled on 
part of the homestead ; JOHN married Hannah Winter, and 
settled on the lake front ; JOSEPH married Julia Fiddler, and 
settled in Charlotteville ; DUNCAN died single ; SARAH married 
Dugald Ferguson, and settled in South wold, Elgin County ; and 
RACHEL married John D. Palmer, and settled in Norwich, 
Oxford County. Mr. Palmer, shortly after settling, rode on 
horseback to the mouth of the Chippawa River for a bushel 
of salt, which cost him twelve dollars. 

Joseph Shearer, second son of Robert, died single. 
Robert Shearer, third son of Robert, married Susan Tibbits, 
and settled in New York, where he died without issue. 

David Shearer, fourth son of Robert, married Nancy Barber, 
and settled in Charlotteville. He had two sons W r illiam and 
Herbert ; and four daughters Cynthia, Mary, Jennie and Aggie. 
WILLIAM married Maggie Holmes, and settled in Townsend, 
near Rock ford. He is at present a member of the County 
Council. HERBERT married Pauline Fearman, and settled in 
Rochester N.Y. ; CYNTHIA married Dr. L. McLaughlin, and 
settled in Elgin County ; MARY married Thomas A. Hall, 
a school teacher, at present located in California ; JENNIE 
married Rev. Henry Cox, a Baptist minister, and AGGIE became 
the third wife of Ansley Heath, of Townsend. 


Gabriel Shearer, fifth son of Robert, married Hannah 
Slaght, and succeeded to the old homestead. He had one son, 
CHARLES E., who married Ada D. Foster, and succeeded his 
father on his grandfather's old homstead. Gabriel Shearer 
had two daughters LAVINIA and MARIA. The former mar- 
ried Edward Hackett, of Vittoria, and the latter married 
Henry W. Mabee^ of the same place. 

James Shearer, youngest son of Robert, died single. 

Hannah Shearer, eldest daughter of Robert, married Major 
Daniel McCall. Her children are enumerated in the McCall 

Miriam Shearer, the second daughter, married Lev art Beal, 
and had one son, John, who went to California. 

Elizabeth Shearer, the third daughter, died young. 

Rachel Shearer, the fourth daughter, married Aaron S. 
Barber. She had one child, but both mother and child were 
killed by a road accident. 

Esther Shearer, the fifth daughter, married Henry Beemer, 
and settled in Townsend. Her children are enumerated in the 
Beemer genealogy. 

Jane Shearer, youngest daughter of the old pioneer, mar- 
ried William Rosebrook, and settled in North Carolina. She 
had one daughter, Mary, who married G. M. Lawrason. 

The orginal Robert Shearer had one sister, Rachel, who 
married John Dolan, in New Jersey. After Mr. Dolan's 
death she came to Long Point with her family, consisting of 
four daughters Maria, Delia, Martha and Cecilia ; and one 
son, Michael S. Of these children, MARIA and DELIA became 
the first and second wives of Burdsey, son of William Smith. 
MARTHA married Henry Wade, who finally settled in Oregon ; 
CECILIA married Samuel L. Jones, and settled in Geneva, N.Y. ; 
and MICHAEL S. married Elizabeth Oaks, and settled in Vittoria. 
He had four sons John, James A., Burdsey and Alfred B. ; and 
three daughters Cecilia, Rachel and Esther. JAMES A., second 
son of James, occupies the village homestead at present. 



PETER TEEPLE and John Stone were the two first young 
married men that settled in Charlotteville. They were the sons- 
in-law of the original Frederick Mabee, and came with that old 
pioneer and his family to Turkey Point in 1793, After the 
township was surveyed Peter Teeple settled near Forestville, on 
Lot 8 in the broken front, He was a U. E. Loyalist, having 
served as lieutenant of a cavalry company in the British army 
during the War of the Revolution. It is said that he took part 
in several notable engagements, and that while scouting in 
Virginia a bullet from the rifle of an American sharpshooter 
killed the horse upon which he was mounted. At the close of 
the war his company was disbanded at Halifax ; and, owing to 
his fine physique, being six feet two inches in height, he was 
offered great inducements to return with the troops and join 
His Majesty's Life Guards. He declined the offer, and ever 
after considered the act as the great mistake of his life. 

Peter Teeple was one of Norfolk's first Justices of the 
Peace, having that honor conferred upon him by virtue of the 
first General Commission of the Peace for the District of 
London, dated at York, January 1st, 1800. Mr. Teeple was 
also one of three appointed at the same time to act as Com* 
missioners for administering oaths prescribed by law to the 
officers of the Government. On the second day of April fol- 
lowing* he was sworn into office at the house of Lieut. James 
Monroe. On April 8th, the first session of the first court held 
on Norfolk soil, was held at Fort Monroe, and Squire Teeple 
was one of the sitting justices. 


Squire Teeple and his wife were two of the constituent 
members of the old pioneer Baptist church, organized by Elder 
Finch in 1804 ; and when the acre of land was purchased from 
Oliver Mabee, in 1807, upon which to erect a " meeting -house," 
Mr. Teeple became one of the first trustees. 

After the war of 1812 Mr. Teeple moved into Oxford 
county and settled on land granted by the Government. At 
that time land in the vicinity of Woodstock sold at from $1 to 
$2 per acre. This was only about eighty years ago, and to-day 
Oxford is known as the " garden of Canada." Surely, the 
fathers of that time had opportunities for securing homes for 
their sons which the fathers of our day do not have. True, 
the forest was dense and heavy, and the soil dark, damp and 
sticky ; but these were advantages in disguise, as the hard 
timber lands were more easily cleared than the pine lands, 
while the soil, which was considered too wet and not suffi- 
ciently friable for cultivation, proved to be easily tillable and 
exceedingly fertile. 

Peter Teeple had three sons, William, Luke and Pellum, and 
one daughter, Susan. WILLIAM, the eldest son, settled near 
Aylmer, in the township of Malahide. PELLUM settled on the 
homestead in Oxford. SUSAN married Archibald Burch and 
settled near Woodstock. The Baptist Institute stands on land 
formerly owned by him. Mr. Burch had a son, William, who 
married a daughter of John Hatch, Esq., and settled at 

Luke Teeple, second son of Peter, was a tailor, shoemaker 
and tanner. The first two trades he learned in Oxford. Just 
before the war of 1812 he went to New Jersey on a visit, and 
while at his uncle's home the war broke out, and he was 
ordered to leave the country or take the oath of allegiance. 
His uncle had a mail route from New York to some point in 
New Jersey, and he put young Luke on this route, thinking 
that while thus employed he would not be molested. He was 
arrested, however, in the following February, and cast into 
prison with about a hundred other British sympathizers. 


According to his version of the affair, these Loyalist prisoners 
were sorely tempted to desert their first love and join the 
American army. One by one they weakened, until fifteen only 
remained, Luke being one of them. At the close of the war 
they were liberated, and the uncle, although an American, gave 
Luke a present in token of his British pluck. When he 
returned to Canada he settled in Vittoria, purchasing the two- 
story frame house built by Caleb Wood, and which still stands 
on the hill-side in front of the Baptist burying ground, dark, 
windowless and vacant, fit companion to the weather-beaten, 
mossy old grave-stones which mark the background. On the 
flat opposite this house, Mr. Teeple built a tannery, which was 
operated by his son Alexander after his death. 

Luke Teeple had seven sons Alexander, Jerome, Lisander, 
Thurmes, Glatten, Ridley and Latimer ; and four daughters - 
Mabro, Mobra, Clementine and Almira. Alexander was acci- 
dently killed while engaged in excavating a large stone on his 
farm. Excepting Charles Teeple, of Woodhouse, son of Alex- 
ander, and one or two others, the name has become extinct 
in Norfolk. 



WHEN I was a little boy at Sunday School I used to read 
about the deliverance of the Israelites from their terrible 
bondage, and I used to think they were the most ungrateful 
people in the world. No sooner had Moses liberated them from 
their hard life of drudgery, privation and physical suffering, 
and started them on the highway leading to a life of indepen- 
dent ease and luxury, than they sent up a howl in the wilder- 
ness and wanted to return to the " flesh pots " of " the good 
old times " down in Egypt. In my childish innocency I thought 
it would have served them right if Moses had driven every 
last one of them back to the land of Goshen, where they might 
break their backs in the old brickyards and sink out of sight 
in the muddy deposits of the Nile. Since that tender time in 
my life, I have been wandering some forty years in the 
wilderness myself, and I have learned that modern Gentiles are 
quite as ungrateful as were the ancient Israelites. 

Did you ever hear people talk as though everything in our 
day was out of joint, and that the country and everything in 
it was going to the dogs as fast as it could ; and then roll their 
eyes ceilingward and heave a mighty sigh as they pine for a 
return of " the good old times" of our great-grandfathers 1 days? 
Of course you have, and you don't have to go very far from 
your own door-step to find one, either. To thus decry life and 
its wonderful possibilities in our day is base ingratitude. 

Let us call upon Jones and see what these possibilities are. 
Mr. Jones lives in a two-story brick mansion, warmed through- 
out with hot air from a furnace in the basement, and lighted 


with kerosene lamps of gorgeous design and if it were not a 
rural home it would be lighted with electricity. He rides to 
church over smooth, macadamized roads, in a carriage finer 
than any monarch in all Europe rode in one short century 
before his great-grandfather's time. The steam-engine threshes 
his grain, and the locomotive engine hauls it to market. He 
may sit on a spring seat with an umbrella over his head while 
he ploughs, harrows, cultivates, sows, reaps, binds his sheaves, 
rakes his hay, pulls his peas, digs his potatoes, and cuts his 
corn. Horse-power cuts his feed, grinds his apples, saws his 
wood, arid digs his ditches. In the house and on the farm 
machinery has monopolized so much of the labor that there is 
not enough left to harden the muscles of Jones or his wife, or 
give them a good appetite. After supper Jones dons his 
slippers, lights his cigar, sinks almost out of sight in a richly- 
upholstered easy- chair, and while the cat purrs at his slippered 
feet on the Brussels carpet, reads the happenings of the day 
before in all the wide, wide world ; and when the eight-day 
clock on the marble mantel points out the hour of bedtime, he 
retires to a bed which excels in comfort and elegance anything 
enjoyed by princes in " the good old times." But, instead of 
returning thanks for the marvellous blessings it is his privilege 
to enjoy, he growls about the low price of wheat and horses ; 
wonders what the world is coming to, and then drops off into 
the sleep of the discontented and ungrateful ! 

How was it in " the good old times ? " What were the possi- 
bilities of life when Jones' great-grandfather settled on this 
same land ? These multiform comforts and conveniences of 
our day were unknown in "the good old times," not because our 
forefathers were strangers to wealth, but because inventive 
genius had not yet awakened from its long, dark night of 
sleep. There was plenty of coin of the king's realm in "the 
good old times," but all the king's coin and " all the king's men" 
could not procure what did not exist. True, during that early 
stage of pioneer life, when the log hut with its bark roof 
nourished, local circumstances governed the conditions of life, 


making it one of great privation and cruel hardship ; but after 
the clearing had grown into a number of fields of fresh, new 
virgin soil, and the primitive shanty had given place to the 
more commodious frame house, with its massive fire-places 
and its twelve 7x9 pane glass windows, the conditions of life 
were different. Grist-mills, saw-mills, tanneries, and stores of 
merchandise had made their appearance ; mother-earth yielded 
up her treasures abundantly, and these were convertible into 
such comforts and conveniences as were known at that time ; 
and this stage of pioneer life represents that condition of things 
known as " the good old times." Let us note a few of the 
comforts and conveniences of " the good old times " : The old cord 
bed-frame was a veritable trough, and the only thing that 
made the squeaking old thing endurable was a plethoric straw 
tick. , On arising in the .morning, the first thing was to 
examine the fire in the big fire-place ; if it were " alive," all 
right, but if it were " dead," then some member of the family 
had to wade through the snow a mile or two, to the nearest 
neighbor's house, to " borrow fire." Matches ? Oh, no ; they 
were reserved for our time. What light was needed beside 
that reflected by the fire-place was made by the " witch " a 
saucer of tallow containing a coil of twisted cotton rag with its 
burning end hanging over the edge of the saucer. Candles 
came later, and were considered a great invention. Spikes off 
thorn trees were used for pins real pins had been invented, 
but they cost a half-dollar a paper, and nabobs only could afford 
to use them. The only base of supply for bedding and wearing 
apparel was the raw flax and wool as produced on the farm ; 
and the entire process of converting this raw material into the 
various articles for domestic use was all done on the farm, by 
the women mostly. In " the good old times " human muscle 
and " elbow grease " were in great demand. Man power was 
the motor of that day; to-day, man thinks, and electricity, 
steam, and brute force does the grinding. All hail the great 
emancipation day. 



ABOUT a hundred years ago, Jacob Sovereign, one of eight 
German-American brothers who came to Long Point settlement 
before the present dying century was born, built a log cabin on 
a ridge in the unbroken forest that crosses east and west the 
front part of Lot 14, in tjie 6th concession of Charlotte ville. 
Here, with his brave New Jersey wife formerly Miss Eliza- 
beth Pickle and his three children, the eldest of whom, 
Frederick, was only twelve years old, was planted one of the 
main branches of the great Sovereign family a family now 
widely scattered over the American continent by the many 
transplantings of a century. 

If the story of Norfolk's development during this first 
century of its history were written in detail from the time the 
sharp " click " of the settler's axe first broke the long and 
awful stillness down to the present time, what a wonderful 
tale it would be ! We can see in our imagination these primi- 
tive log cabins, one here on the shady bank of a babbling 
brook, and one there on the sunny side of a chestnut ridge, and 
all intervening space covered with a dark and forbidding 
forest ; and around the cabin door and underneath the wide 
spreading branches, we see little bare-footed and bare-headed 
children skipping about. What of the life in these lonely 
cabins ? The days were full of toil, and the nights, oh, 
how long and dark, and full of strange, startling sounds for 
young mothers and timid children. If the veil were lifted, 
what fears, hopes aye, and tears would be revealed in the 
inner life of those rude dwellings in the struggle to meet the 


crying demands of the hour, and in planning for the unknown 
future ! We shall never know the full meaning of such a life ; 
we can only catch a faint glimpse of it through our imagina- 
tions. We never saw the brave old pioneer fathers and 
mothers who erected the first log cabins in Norfolk, but we 
distinctly remember the bent forms of our grandfathers, and 
the wrinkled, saintly faces of our grandmothers; and they 
were the little tots that gambolled around those first cabin 


doors, and sometimes cried for bread when there was no bread 
for them. But we have no more space in this sketch for our 

After Jacob Sovereign had effected a clearing and made a 
start in the world, he turned his home into a tavern and kept 
it for several years. It was one of old Charlottleville's first 
taverns, and the rough-and-ready settlers who used to gather 
at " Jake Savreen's tavern " and spin yarns and crack jokes 
before the big open-mouthed fire-place have long since passed 


away. The old sand ridge remains, but the people who occupy 
it at present live in another world and know nothing of the old 
scenes enacted there so many years ago, or the conditions of 
life that prevailed at that time. Many a funny story was told 
at this old tavern, inspired by copious drafts of " Uncle Jake's 
grog " ; and sometimes our grandfathers exhausted their fund 
of good humor by indulging too freely in pioneer " bitters," 
and then the curtain would drop on the funny part, and the 
spectators would witness something more tragical. A resort 
to the old game of fisticuffs was the usual way of settling all 
disputes in our grandfathers' days ; and the fellow who could 
wield his fists the most effectively was considered the most 
convincing disputant in all argumentative controversies 
political, religious or otherwise. 

Jacob Sovereign lived to a good old age, and left two sons 
Frederick and Henry ; and one daughter, Elizabeth. 

Frederick Sovereign, eldest son of Jacob, married Jane, 
daughter of Captain William Hutchinson, and settled on Lot 
47, 1st concession, N. T. S. Middleton, about the time of the 
war of 1812, thus becoming one of the original pioneers of 
that township. This lot cost about $40.00 in addition to the 
settling duties. It adjoins on the north, and partly includes, 
the village of Delhi. Later on Mr. Sovereign purchased the 
north half of the lot lying directly opposite on the south side 
of Talbot Street. This 100 acres cost about $600.00, and put 
" Uncle Frederick " in possession of all the land on which the 
village is built, except that portion lying in Windham, which 
was owned and settled upon by Joseph Lawson a little time 
before Mr. Sovereign settled on his land. Uncle Frederick 
had made his purchase, however, and had performed settling 
duties before Mr. Lawson came ; he is justly entitled, therefore, 
to the honor of being the first to locate a home in the village 
he laid out and founded, and which was named after him. 
Fredericksburg it was called for many years, and when the 
Post-office was changed to " Delhi,'' the old people at that time 
never could become reconciled to the new name, and they clung 


to " The Burg " as long as they lived. " Uncle Frederick " 
kept a tavern in Fredericksburg for more than thirty years. 
He was a great deer hunter, and in the early settlement his 
table was always plentifully supplied with venison and other 
wild game. On one occasion he witnessed an interesting fight 
between a herd of swine and a large black bear. The hogs 
were his own and were running in the woods on the opposite 
side of the creek just north of the village. The squealing of 
the hoofs attracted his attention, and taking his rifle he went 

O O 

down the bank to ascertain the cause. When he reached the 
creek he saw what was occurring on the opposite side, and he 
became an interested spectator. The hogs were nine in 
number, and every time the bear seized one in his powerful 
arms, the others would come to the rescue by hurling them- 
selves violently against their adversary, tumbling him over 
and thus liberating the squealer. After enjoying the fun for 
some time, " Uncle Frederick " raised his trusty rifle and a 
bullet went flying across Big Creek that laid Bruin low in 

The first, last and only plug tobacco manufactory ever 
operated in the village and, possibly, in the county, was 
operated by " Uncle Frederick." He grew and cured his own 
leaf and pressed it into plugs. The manufactured plugs con- 
tained nothing but pure tobacco leaf, molasses and Jamaica 
rum, and such were its good qualities that the old settlers 
preferred it to what they called " boughten tobaccar." 

" Uncle Frederick " donated the land occupied by the 
Baptist church in Delhi, becoming an early member of the 
church himself, and serving as deacon for many, many years. 
Indeed, when the familiar form and voice of Uncle Frederick 
Sovereign was seen and heard in the old church for the last 
time, one of the main pillars fell to the earth, and it lies there 
still. A long time ago he retired to his farm east of the 
village, where he established a home noted for its Christian 
influences and its generous hospitality. He died in 1875; 
having reached his 89th year, and having survived his aged 


companion several years. He had three sons William L., 
Jacob and Alexander ; and one daughter, Mary Catherine, who 
married a man named Smith, by whom she had a daughter, 
Mary Catherine, who became the wife of John Carlyle. 
WILLIAM L. married Mary Ann Kitchen ; JACOB died young, 
and ALEXANDER married Eliza Putman. Alexander is the sole 
survivor, and has passed his 80th year. 

Henry Sovereign, second son of the original Jacob, married 
Margaret, daughter of Samuel Brown, and settled in Middleton 
also on a lot adjoining his brother Frederick. He had two 
sons Jacob and G. Nelson ; and two daughters Elizabeth and 
Emoline. The elder daughter married Henry, eldest son of 
that staunch old Chariot teville pioneer, Benjamin Palmerston, 
who came from near Albany, N.Y., in 1811, and settled on Lot 8, 
2nd concession of Charlotteville, where he raised a family of 
three sons Henry, Joshua and Benjamin ; and three daughters 
Anna, Jane and Sarah. Of this family : HENRY married 
Elizabeth Sovereign, as above stated, settled in the oth con- 
cession, and had two sons Henry B. and Nelson Sylvester ; 
and one daughter, Mary M. JOSHUA married Jane Fisher, 
and settled in Brant County. BENJAMIN married Elizabeth 
Monroe, settled on the homestead, and had three sons Daniel, 
William and James ; and two daughters Mary Ann and 
Sarah Jane. ANNA, JANE and SARAH married, respectively, 
Nathaniel Fairchild, Lewis Buckley and Noah Fairchild. 
After the latter 's death, Sarah married Jacob McCall. 

Emoline Sovereign, younger daughter of Henry, married 
William Earle, by whom she had one son, William. Mr. Earle 
died comparatively young, and the young widow married John 
Ostrander, of Middleton. Mr. Ostrander was widely known 
as a leading citizen of that township. By this union she had 
one son, John ; and two daughters Sarah and Elizabeth. 

G. Nelson Sovereign, youngest son of Henry, died in 1846, 
in his 28th year. He left a son, Nelson. 

Henry Sovereign was one of Middleton's pioneer saw-mill 
men, having built one at an early day and operated it for 


several years. " Uncle Henry was a familiar figure on the 
streets of Fredericksburg for many years previous to his 
death. He had been a hard worker when in the prime of life, 
and had contracted rheumatism, which nearly doubled him in 
his old age and compelled him to use crutches. Notwithstand- 
ing this fact, he was ever busy with his favorite old horse and 
wagon right up to the time of his last illness. It is said that 
in the younger days of this old pioneer he used two teams, 
alternating night and day, hauling bog ore to the old furnace 
at Normandale. He died in 1878 at the age of ninety. 

Jacob Sovereign, eldest son of Henry, built the first mills 
in the village, and has always been identified with the leading 
business interests of the village, and although in his 81st year he 
is at present actively engaged in the manufacturing industries 
of Delhi. Since 1850 he has served twenty-five years in the 
Middleton Township Council, during which he sat in the 
County Council thirteen years, and in the Warden's chair 
three years. In addition to this he has served as deacon in 
the Baptist church for over a quarter of a century. 

Elizabeth Sovereign, only daughter of the original Jacob, 
married Jonathan Wade, and finally settled at the "Five Stakes" 
in Elgin County. When she was married her father told her 
he would give her a span of horses and a wagon if she had a 
family of twenty children. She came within two of it. 



EVERY young student of Scottish history has read of the two 
attempts made to re-establish the house of Stuart on the 
Scottish and English thrones the first by the Chevalier de 
St. George, in 1715, and the second by his son, the gay and 
daring "Prince Charlie," in 1745. It will be remembered that 
it was the Earl of Mar who raised the standard of revolt when 
the first attempt was made ; that 10,000 Highland clansmen 
joined his standard, and that the kilted revolters were held in 
check by the Duke of Argyle until they were finally dispersed. 
It will also be remembered that the first Pretender escaped 
from the Highlands and returned to France, accompanied by 
the disappointed and crestfallen Earl of Mar. 

Now, it is claimed on strong circumstantial evidence, that 
this old Scottish chieftain, who is described as Sir John Francis 
Mar, was a brother of Lawrence Marr, the father of David Marr, 
the old pioneer who settled on " Marr's Hill," in Woodhouse, 
at the beginning of the present century. It is said another 
brother or two besides Lawrence were implicated in this 
Jacobite revolt, and that Lawrence escaped into Ireland, and 
subsequently came to America and settled in Northampton 
County, Penn., near the little town of Bethlehem, on the 
Delaware River. If this grand-ancestor of the Norfolk Marrs 
was really the Earl's brother, it is quite possible that a few 
corpuscles of royal Stuart blood course through their veins. 
A grandson of Robert II., the first Stuart who wore a crown, 
married the Countess of Mar, and secured the earldom. This 
Earl of Mar was the natural son of Sir Alexander Stuart. 
Later on, during the reign of James III., we find an Earl of 
Mar who was a brother of that king; and a century or two 


after we find another Earl of Mar entrusted with the guardian- 
ship of the youthful James VI., who also succeeded to the 
throne of England as James I. 

It is said the Earl of Mar who led the insurrection in 1715 
was a bachelor, and left a fine property in the vicinity of 
Paisley, County of Renfrew ; and it is said Lawrence was the 
only brother who married and had children. It is upon this 
condition of things that the descendants of Lawrence Marr base 
their expectations of receiving a fortune. It has cost them a 
considerable sum already by way of investigations, and the 
chances are that, after incurring additional expenditure, the 
fortune will still "be acomin'," as is the case with the for- 
tunes of so many of our old families. As before stated, there is 
good circumstantial evidence in favor of the claim. Lawrence 
is said to be the name of the missing heir, and Lawrence was 
the name of the grand -ancestor of the family in America, and, 
according to a family tradition, he was a refugee from his 
native land on account of his participation in the Highland 
revolt. David Marr, the old Norfolk pioneer, had in his 
possession, it is said, a pair of massive silver knee-buckles 
and a pair of silver shoe-buckles which had belonged to his 
father ; and if these silver trappings had been worn by him 
in the Highlands, it would signify a social standing several 
degrees above the commonalty of the Highland peasantry, to 
say the least. No doubt there are numerous unclaimed for- 
tunes in Europe awaiting American claimants, but the difficulty 
is in furnishing the required proofs. With the stringent regis- 
tration laws now in force, future claimants will have less diffi- 
culty in tracing back their ancestry. 

Lawrence Marr died in Pennsylvania, leaving several sons 
and daughters. One of these sons, David, and one daughter, 
Mary, with her husband, Joseph Lemon, came to Long Point. 
It is said that Thomas, another son, started for Canada, but 
died on the way ; and that Richard Marr, late of Woodhouse, 
was a twig of this branch. 

David Marr had thirteen . children, twelve of whom grew 
up. Two of the twelve were sons Lawrence and David ; and 


the daughters' names were, Sarah, Mary, Anna, Elizabeth, 
Eleanor, Susanna, Rachel, Martha, Margaret and Judith. David 
Marr was past sixty when he came to Long Point, and he 
lived but a few years after he came. 

Lawrence, eldest son of David, came to the new settlement in 
advance of his father. He came in about 1800, accompanied by 
his wife and his little brother David, who had not yet entered 
his teens. Lawrence was twenty-seven. His wife Rachel was 
the daughter of Colonel Butler, an officer in the British army, 
who lost his life in the conquest of Canada. Lawrence Marr 
made a wise choice of a home on the hill known as "Marr's 
Hill," being the fine, substantial home, at present, of A. W. 
Smith. He was twice married. By his first wife he had three 
sons David, Robert and Joseph ; and two daughters Mary 
and Nancy. By his second wife, Naomi Strawbridge, he had 
four sons Richard, Benjamin, Graham and Joseph. His son 
Joseph by his first marriage died young, and this accounts for 
the second Joseph. He also had five daughters by his. second 
wife Elizabeth, Rachel, Catherine, Mary Ann and Maria, Of 
these sons, BENJAMIN contracted a cold while serving in a troop 
of horsemen during the rebellion, which resulted in his death. 
DAVID was a Justice of the Peace, and if Norfolk ever, had a 
magistrate who proved himself a " peacemaker," it was Squire 
Marr, of Woodhouse. The story of his labors as a peacemaker 
is not found in the public records, as he settled, nearly every 
case that came to him without the necessity of a trial in court. 
He was a man of peace, and a consciousness of having been 
instrumental in bringing about a reconciliation between two 
belligerent neighbors was far dearer to him than the acquisition 
of a few paltry fees. ROBERT, the second, son, built a saw-mill 
on Black Creek, and met with marked success financially. 
GRAHAM, next to the youngest son, studied medicine and 
became a doctor. 

David Marr, second son and youngest child of the original 
David, came to Long Point, as before stated, with his brother 
Lawrence while yet a mere lad. After remaining a year or 

two in the wilds of the new settlement, he went back to Penn- 


sylvania. Not meeting with a hearty welcome, he made up his 
mind to try it again as soon as he could earn money enough to 
pay his expenses. He earned $4.00 threshing out three stacks 
of rye for a Pennsylvania Dutchman, and with this money in 
his pocket he started alone, and on foot, for the new country 
once more. It is said this youthful pioneer walked every step 
of the way from the Delaware River to Marr's Hill except- 
ing, of course, ferryings across rivers. He learned the 
cabinet-making trade, was handy with tools, generally, and 
worked on any sort of building job that had any money in it. 
He sent to England for a complete set of cabinet-making tools, 
which cost him $900, and he paid for the outfit by making 300 
wheelbarrows during the war of 1812, at $3.00 each. He 
bought fifty acres adjoining his brother Lawrence on the south, 
and here he settled with his wife Anna, daughter of the old 
Lynn Valley pioneer, Solomon Austin. David Marr never 
went to school a day in his life ; but he attended thirteen 
sessions of a night-school taught by a man who never spent a 
day in school himself. He was one of Norfolk's pioneer cabinet- 
makers, and many a night the sound of plane, saw and hammer 
was heard in his little shop all night long, in making coffins. 
He was industrious, upright and honorable, and was never 
plaintiff or defendant in any suit at law. He died in 1871, in 
his eighty-first year. He had six sons Solomon, Joseph, 
Edward, John Hiram, William and Duncan D. ; and three 
daughters Esther, Jane and Mary. JOSEPH succeeded to the 
homestead; EDWARD, SOLOMON and JOHN HIRAM settled in 
Iowa; DUNCAN D. learned his father's trade, and settled in 
Simcoe ; MARY died single, and ESTHER and JANE married, 
respectively, William Brooks and W. F. Nickerson. 

A number of the original David Marr's daughters married 
and settled in the States before his sons or himself came to 
Canada, but the descendants of the family in . Norfolk know 
nothing about them. David Marr was born in 1743, and his 
wife Sarah in 1747, and as he did not come to Canada before 
the year 1805, his large family were all grown up, married and 
settled somewhere, except the two youngest, Judith and David. 


David Marr's old family Bible has been preserved, and all that 
is known of the family is learned from its time- stained old 
Register. It simply records the names of SARAH, ANNA, 
ELEANOR and MARTHA who they married or where they 
settled no member of the family in Norfolk knows. 

Mary Marr, eldest daughter of the original David, married 
George Ryrnal, and settled at Hamilton. 

Elizabeth Marr, the third daughter, married Abraham Diltz, 
and settled in Harrison County, Kentucky. 

Susanna Marr, the sixth daughter, married Charles Redman, 
a school teacher, who died in Pennsylvania, leaving one son, 

Rachel Marr, the seventh daughter, married David Marr, 
and settled in Glanford, near Hamilton. 

Margaret Marr, the ninth daughter, married Andrew Labar, 
and settled at Trafalgar, where she raised a large family of 

Judith Marr, the youngest daughter, married Abraham 
Labar, and settled in Norwich. John Labar, of Bloomsburg, is 
a son of Judith. It is said that Judith Marr was living with 
relatives at Hamilton at the time her brother David returned 
to Canada, and that he rested overnight at the place where 
she was staying, and the following day she accompanied him 
the remainder of his long journey. It is said they started at 
sunrise from the old Barton church on top of the mountain, and 
walked to their brother Lawrence's new home on Marr's Hill, 
reaching their place of destination at eight o'clock in the 
evening, having walked a distance of fifty-two miles over rough 
and uneven roads and through immense stretches of mere forest 

It is said the original Lawrence Marr had five or six sons ; 
that he and his eldest son were Loyalists during the war of the 
Revolution, and that his remaining sons, including David, 
supported the cause of independence. 

The late Richard Marr, of Woodhouse, married Martha 
Marr, and had six sons David, William, Thomas, Lawrence, 
Adam and George; and three daughters Margaret, Rachel 
and Martha. 


Mary Marr, daughter of the original Lawrence, married 
Joseph Lemon, of New Jersey. It is said she and her husband 
came to Canada. Two sons of this union settled in Norfolk 
early in the century namely, Joseph and Jacob. 

Joseph Len^on settled in Woodhouse, near Port Ryerse. He 
had five sons Alexander, James, Samuel, Thomas and Jacob ; 
and two daughters Catherine and Nancy. Of this family : 
ALEXANDER married into the Gilbert family, and settled in 
Woodhouse. He had one daughter, who married a man named 

Saulsbury. JAMES married Clendenning, and settled on 

part of the homestead. He had three sons Hiram, "Riah" 
and Joseph. SAMUEL went away; THOMAS settled in St. 
Thomas ; JACOB married Charity Lemon, and settled in Elgin ; 
CATHERINE married Henry E. Collins, who finally settled 
near "Five Stakes" in Elgin; and NANCY married Ebenezer 
Gilbert, of Woodhouse. 

Jacob Lemon, brother of Joseph, the old pioneer, settled on 
Lots 5 and 6, in the Gore of Woodhouse. These lots are now 
divided into four or five valuable farms, constituting as fine a 
tract of land as lies in the county. Mr. Lemon possessed a 
jovial disposition, and in his day was one of the most popular 
citizens of Woodhouse. He had one son, Jacob, who was the 
youngest in the family. His daughters' names were : Catherine, 
Lavinia, Charity, Eliza, Sarah, Matilda and Rebecca Ann. 
CATHERINE married David Duff and settled in Woodhouse ; 
CHARITY married Jacob Lemon ; ELIZA married Henry Decew, 
and settled at Port Dover ; SARAH married Caleb Smith, and 
settled in Iowa ; MATILDA married Joseph Lemon, and settled 
in Chariot teville ; and REBECCA ANN married Philip Pegg, and 
settled in Woodhouse. 

Jacob Lemon, the only son of Jacob, married Mary Ann 
Wheeler, and settled on the homestead. He had one son, 
Isaac ; and four daughters Sarah Ann, Elizabeth, Esther and 

The Lemon families were prominent among the old Wood- 
house Methodist families, who lie buried in the old Woodhouse 



THE sons and daughters of " Glorious old Norfolk " are 
not excelled by those of any other community on the 
face of the globe, in all the qualities essential to the building up 
of a moral, free and enlightened commonwealth. This high 
social status is the growth of one short century. Not to any 
one pioneer element can it be attributed, but to a combination of 
elements. If the old foundation builders had been of one 
nationality and one temperament, or had they been of one re- 
ligious faith, or all of the same political bias, we could not 
have attained so high a standing in so short a time. It is only 
by a commingling and an intermarrying of the best human 
elements gathered from all nations and all climes, that the 
highest development in the shortest possible space of time can 
be effected. 

One of our old Woodhouse pioneers added a French 
Huguenot element to the blood of Norfolk, which has been 
widely diffused, and which has materially aided in improving 
the general tone of our people. This element is represented by 
the well-known Deccw family. There are numerous American 
branches of this family, and a variety of forms have been 
adopted by the various branches for spelling the name. The 
old French form was " De Ceaux," which became " De Ceue." 
Among the anglicized forms in vogue are " Decou," " Decow," 
" Decue," and " Decew." Sometimes one of the latter forms is 
written with a capital " C," thereby preserving something of 
the French form. 

When the Reformation commenced in Germany and France 
its adherents in the latter country were called Huguenots a 


corruption of a German word meaning " confederates." The 
Decews espoused the Protestant cause, and, in common with 
their co-religionists, were subjected to cruel persecution. They 
fled from their native land and found a place of refuge in 
Yorkshire, England, where they settled. The date of this re- 
moval is not known, but it probably occurred during the time 
the notorious Guise family were in the ascendency, before the 
dawn of the seventeenth century. 

Isaac Decew, of Yorkshire, England, came to America about 
1685, and settled at Newcastle, Maryland, on land bought 
of William Penn. This was only four years after Penn re- 
ceived his famous grant from the Crown, and three years after 
his interview with the Indian tribes, under the old elm tree at 
Shackamaxon, now Kensington. The first meeting of Quakers 
in America was held in Isaac Decew's house. In this family 
were four sons Jacob, John, Isaac and Emmanuel ; and two 
daughters Elizabeth and Susanna. The youngest daughter 
was the sole issue of a second marriage, the mother being one 
Susanna Aston, and the date of marriage, 1661. Of this gen- 
eration, JACOB settled in Burlington, Vermont, where he lived 
and died. JOHN remained in England, and died in 1721, in his 
51st year. ISAAC settled in Burlington Co., New Jersey, where 
he died ; and EMMANUEL died in England in infancy. The 
descendants of two of Isaac's granddaughters are living in New 
Jersey at the present time. 

Jacob Decew, son of Yorkshire Isaac, had three sons Isaac, 
Jacob and Eber. ISAAC lived and died in Burlington, Vermont. 
JACOB was born in 1710, married Jane Duncan in 1736, and 
settled in Sussex County, New Jersey. EBER was born in 1712, 
and lived and died in Burlington. His descendants are living 
there still. 

Jacob Decew, son of Jacob, of Sussex County, New Jersey, 
had four sons John, Edmond, Abram and Abner; and three 
daughters Patience, Jane and Sarah. It is from members of 
this family the Canada Decews are directly descended. The 
family came to the Niagara settlement about 1788. It is said 
that ABRAM remained in New Jersey. JOHN was a captain in 


the Lincoln Militia in the war of 1812, and although a 
descendant of the progenitors of the real, simon-pure " Yankee," 
he proved himself a loyal son of his adopted country. 

Captain John Decew was born in 1766, and was twenty- two 
years old when he came to Canada. He secured a tract of land 
in Thorold and Grantham, on the Beaver Dam Creek, at what is 
known as Decew's Falls. He traded an axe and an Indian 
blanket for one hundred acres of this land, and gave a gold 
doubloon for another one hundred acres. Aided by Colonel 
Hamilton, of Queenston, who imported the necessary machinery 
from Scotland, Mr. Decew built the first saw-mill between the 
two lakes, and sawed the first lumber in old Niagara district. 
Before the war of 1812 broke out, Captain Decew had built a 
commodious stone house at Beaver Dams as it was called ; and 
this house was used for storing military supplies. It was here 
where Lieutenant FitzGibbon was stationed with a small force, 
when Colonel Harvey conducted his brilliant exploit at Stony 
Creek; and it was here where the heroine, Mrs. Laura Secord, de- 
livered her message of warning to Lieutenant FitzGibbon, after 
her long walk of twenty miles. FitzGibbon, thus forewarned of 
the intended attack by Major Boerstler with six hundred 
Americans, was enabled to make that skilful arrangement of 
his little band of patriots in Captain Decew's woods, that led 
the invaders to believe they were surrounded by a large force ; 
and after a brief resistance, surrendered to only one-half their 
own number. In an account of this engagement written by Cap- 
tain Decew, he states that the Americans were attacked by a 
small force of Indians in ambush, as they marched through the 
woods; that Lieutenant FitzGibbons advanced from the bar- 
racks at Beaver Dams on horseback bearing a white flag ; that 
he informed them they were surrounded by an overwhelming 
force, and that it would be better for them to surrender as 
prisoners of war than to hold out against the merciless fury of 
the Indians. The ruse was a success, and every student of 
Canadian history is familiar with the result. In after years, 
while Mr. Deeew was engaged in sawing into lumber one of 
the pine trees that stood in the woods where the Americans 


had the skirmish with the Indians, a saw was ruined by coming 
in contact with a grape-shot which had been imbedded in the 
tree. While this scene was being enacted about his home, 
Captain Decew was a prisoner in Philadelphia awaiting execu- 
tion with a number of others. He made his escape and, under 
many trying difficulties, succeeded in reaching Canada by way 
of Vermont, passing through Burlington in the guise of a 
drover, and meeting some of his relatives. He reached home in 
safety, and was afterwards placed in charge of the Commissariat 
at the battle of Lundy's Lane. After the war he built a grist- 
mill, but the building of the Welland Canal ruined his mill-site 
and destroyed the value of his mill property. In his declining 
years he purchased a tract of land, containing a mill privilege, 
in the township of Cayuga, on which he laid out and settled 
the village of Decewsville. He died in 1855 in his 90th year. 
Mrs. Thomas Fay well, of Port Dover, and Mrs. John Hicks, of 
Delhi, are descendants of Captain John Decew, as was also the 
late Mrs. Margaret Bloomfield, of Townsend. 

Abner Decew, brother of Captain John, married Elizabeth 
Flummerfelt, of New Jersey, and came to Long Point in the 
last decade of last century, and settled in Woodhouse, near 
Port Dover. He was one of the old advance squad of pioneers 
who came into Norfolk to clear away the brush for the trench- 
diggers who came next in order, in the work of laying our 
social, religious and political foundation. He died in 1826, 
having reached his 84th year. He had five sons Eber, John, 
Isaac, Abner a -id Samuel ; and one daughter Charity. 

Eber Decew, eldest son of Abner, married Susan Baumwart 
and settled finally in Michigan. In 1802 he was appointed 
constable for Woodhouse. He had four sons Isaac, John, 
Abner and Samuel ; and one daughter, Charity. 

John Decew, second son of Abner, married Elizabeth Long, 
and settled in Woodhouse. He represented his township in 
Norfolk's first Council the Talbot District Council. In 1801 
he was appointed constable for Woodhouse, Walpole and Rain- 
ham. He died in 1842, before the second session of the Council 
convened, and his vacant chair was taken by Axford Bowlby. 


He had three sons John, Eber and Abner; and four daughters 
Elizabeth, Margaret, Charity and Mary. 

Isaac Decew, third son of Abner, married Catherine Baum- 
w art, and settled near the homestead. He had three sons 
Frederick, Samuel and Henry; and three daughters Charity, 
Susanna and Elizabeth. 

Abner Decew, youngest son of Abner, and his brother, 
SAMUEL, both died single. 

Charity Decew, only daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Thomas Burger, who was one of the first two settlers in the 
township of Houghton George Walker being the other. 
Mrs. Burger had three sons Isaac, John and David ; and four 
daughters Elizabeth, Sarah, Deborah and Catherine. 

John Decew used to tell a funny story of his boyhood's 
experiences. He worked a good deal for Colonel Ryerson. 
The Colonel employed a good many hands, and when the horn 
blew for dinner it was the signal for a spirited race to the 
table. It was " first corne, first served," and " de'il tak' the 
hindmost," for he, poor fellow, might be compelled to return to 
his labor with his appetite unappeased. Mr. Decew was only 
sixty-four when he died ; and his wife, who died in 1860, was 
seventy-two years old. 

Abram Decew, brother of Captain John and Abner, married 
Mary Hibler, and remained in New Jersey. He had a daughter, 
Jane, who came to Long Point with her uncle Abner, and 
married Colonel Daniel McCall about the year 1799. The 
preceding year, Mr. McCall commenced to build a house, and 
this house was removed to Vittoria sometime during the century, 
and is still standing and occupied as a dwelling. M ary, another 
daughter of Abram Decew, married Simeon Hibler in New 
Jersey, and ten or twelve years after the close of the war of 
1812 the Hibler family, consisting of Simeon and his wife, his 
parents, his brother Joseph, and his sisters Nancy and Jane, 
came to Long Point and settled in Vittoria, where Simeon 
carried on the business of blacksmithing. NANCY and JANE 
Hibler married, respectively, Peter Anderson and Richard 



ABRAHAM POWELL was a U. E. Loyalist. He and Israel 
Wood were brothers-in-law in New Brunswick, Mr. Powell 
having married Ruth, sister of Mr. Wood. This accounts for 
the similarity of names among the descendants of the two 
families in Norfolk. Both families came to Long Point about 
the same time near the close of the last century. The Powell 
family settled in the south-easterly part of Windham, on what 
was afterwards known as Powells plains, or " Buckw T heat 
street." Here Mr. Powell built his log cabin ; and here, a little 
later on, he kept a small store. We have not been able to 
learn the date of the opening of this pioneer store, but it is 
claimed by some that it was the first store in Windham. 

Mr. Powell was a zealous Methodist of the old school. He 
was a very religious man, and meetings were held at his place 
at frequent intervals by the early missionaries who travelled 
about in the new settlements. Mrs. Philip Forse, who has 
reached her eighty-eighth year, hale and hearty, and in 
possession of much of the constitutional vigor that characterized 
her younger days, distinctly remembers one of these religious 
meetings which she attended with her mother when she was 
seven years old. Mrs. Forse was a daughter of John Tisdale 
one of the original Tisdale brothers who settled in Windham 
in an early day. Mrs. Forse describes the meeting as follows : 

" Uncle Powell was a good man. He was a strong Meth- 
odist, and our folks were strong Episcopalians, but that didn't 
make any difference. It was different then ; the settlers were 


few and widely scattered, and they all seemed like members of 
one common family. There was only one kind of ' meetin',' 
as we called it, in those days, and that was a religious meetin ', 
and we all attended it. I remember a meeting at Uncle 
Powell's when I was only seven years old. It seems only 
yesterday, I remember it so distinctly. The meeting was held 
by a missionary named John Youmans, and when we got there 
he was sitting on a splint-bottomed chair, behind a little board 
table that had a tallow candle on it. It was a cold night, and 
it seems as though I can hear the fire snap and crack in that 
big fireplace now. It was a small log-house, with only one 
room. The bed had been taken down and put out of the way, 
and split slab seats put up for the people to sit on. I sat on a 
little stool by the side of my mother, and next to the fireplace. 
When the neighbors had all come in Mr. Youmans opened the 
meeting. They didn't have hymn-books, but everybody, old, 
young, big and little, took part in the singing. The elder read 
two lines of the hymn, and then some one would start the 
tune, and before the middle of the first line was reached all 
the people would be singing with all their might. This was 
repeated until the hymn was finished. I can see the sparkling 
flames leap up and disappear in that old fireplace now just as 
I saw them that night so many years ago, as I knelt by the 
side of my little stool and listened to the prayer of the mission- 
ary and the hearty * Amens ' that came from the benches. 
After reading a portion of Scripture, Elder Youmans com- 
menced his exhortation by pointing towards Uncle Powell and 
shouting : ' Father Abraham, who have you in heaven ? 
Methodists ? No. Presbyterians ? No. Episcopalians ? No. 
Universalists ? No. Baptists ? No. Who then in the name 
of God have you in heaven, father Abraham ? ' ' CHRISTIANS,' 
shouted the elder in a loud voice. This novel way of intro- 
ducing his subject made a lasting impression on my childish 
mind, and I have never forgotten it." 

In 1804 Abraham Powell was overseer of public roads for 
Norfolk County, District of London, as evidenced by an order 


made by Nathan B. Barnum and Peter Teeple, County Com- 
missioners. By this order Mr. Powell was directed to " perform 
the road .labor from James Russell's mill to William Culver's 
mill, and through by Lot Tisdale's to the front road at Potter's 
Creek." Russell's mill stood on the site afterwards occupied 
by the old red mill at Vittoria. In this same year Mr. Powell 
had a hog skin tanned at Joseph Tisdale's tannery, as shown 
by the old tannery blotter. When he obtained the patent for 
his land he walked to York (Toronto) for it, and carried his 
daily rations with him. He had four sons Jacob, Caleb, 
Israel W. and Sylvanus ; and two daughters Mary and : 

Jacob, the eldest son, married Elizabeth Jewell, and settled 
near the homestead. He was a carpenter and framer, and 
when the old red mill was built by the Tisdale's, in 1816, he 
helped to frame it, receiving twelve shillings per day as wages. 
He had five sons Isaac, William, John, Henry and Caleb ; 
and four daughters Sarah, Mary Jane, Maria and Eliza. Of 
this large family all are dead or gone away except Charles, 
son of Henry, who lives in Simcoe. 

Caleb Powell, second son of Abraham, married Eliza Forse, 
and settled near the homestead. He had two sons W T illiam 
and Sydney. Sydney married his own niece and moved out 
of the country. This is the only case of the kind known 
among the old families, and it should go on record. 

Israel W. Powell, third son of Abraham, married Melinda 
Boss, and settled in Colborne, where he engaged in the mercan- 
tile business. Previous to this he had served as a clerk in the 
store of Job Loder, in Waterford. Subsequently he left 
Colborne and went to Port Dover, where he engaged in business 
quite extensively. In 1841 Mr. Powell was elected to repre- 
sent the county in Parliament, which position he held until 
1848. Israel Powell had a family of seven or eight children, 
one of whom, Walker Powell, defeated Thomas W. Walsh in 
1858, in a contest for parliamentary honors. He was succeeded 
by Aquila Walsh in 1861. On February 8th, 1842, the first 


District Council convened at Simcoe, and Israel W. Powell was 
the first Warden. He was also a member of the first Municipal 
Council of the County of Norfolk, which came into existence 
January 28th, 1850, he being Deputy-Reeve of Woodhouse. 
In 1856 Walter Powell succeeded Lawrence W. Hunt as 
Warden of the County. 

Sylvanus Powell, fourth son of Abraham, died single. 

Mary Powell, eldest daughter of Abraham, married Thomas 
Fowler, and settled in Burford. She had one son, Milton ; and 
two daughters Phoebe and Eliza. 

Phoebe Powell, second daughter of Abraham, married 
Morris, son of Frederick Sovereign. They settled in Illinois. 

Six children and eleven grandchildren of Abraham Powell 
have lived on Powell's plains in Windham, and yet twenty 
years ago there was not a Powell in the neighborhood ; and in 
this year of grace, 1897, the name is scarcely known in the 



HENDRICK SLACHT was a German plantation owner in the 
colony of New Jersey. His plantation embraced 625 acres, and 
was located in the township of New Town, Sussex County. 
The old title deed for this tract of land is dated June 21st, 
1750, and the grantee's name is written in the form given in 
the caption of this sketch. Hendrick Slacht raised a large 
family on his New Jersey plantation, and his descendants, to- 
day, have become a mighty host, scattered all over the American 
continent. Three of his descendants Job, John, and Richard 
pioneered their way into the new Province of Upper Canada 
during the first ten years of its existence ; and from the very 
beginning of Norfolk's history the Slaght family has been an 
important factor in the growth and development of the county. 
Two of these brothers, Job and John, were Townsend pioneers, 
and the third, Richard, settled in the adjoining township of 
Oakland, Brant County. 

An old title deed, bearing date Oct. 6th, 1775, shows that 
Hendrick Slacht conveyed to Joab Slacht 170 acres of the 
Slacht plantation in consideration of 60 Proclamation money 
of New Jersey. There is every reason to believe that this 
Joab Slacht was a son of Hendrick Slacht, and the original 
Job Slaght, of Norfolk. In 1796, Job Slaght came to Niagara 
with his family, and in the following year the settlement in 
Townsend was effected. A sketch of this branch of the family 
is given elsewhere under the head, " The Old Pulpit Veteran of 

From another old title deed we learn that one, William 


Stirling, of Beckenbridge, conveyed to Richard Slacht a tract 
of land lying in Hardytown, adjoining the Slacht plantation. 
This old deed bears date Sept. 17th, 1774, and it appears quite 
self-evident that this Richard Slacht was also a son of old 
Hendrick, and the Richard Slaght who settled in Oakland. 
The daughters who married into the Cunningham family were 
of the Richard Slaght branch of the family. 

John Slaght, the old Townsend pioneer, married Elizabeth 
Clouse in New Jersey. An old title deed, bearing date Sept. 
4th, 1800, shows that he obtained from Government his title to 
Lot 10, 5th concession of Townsend, upon which he settled with 
his family the following spring. The old deed still bears the 
massive pendant seal which forms such an object of curiosity 
to the young people of to-day. This old pioneer, who settled 
in the woods of old Townsend before this old, dying century 
had seen its first harvest time, is the grand ancestor of a 
numerous posterity, no inconsiderable portion of which is in- 
corporated in Norfolk's present population. It is said that 
John Slaght was a machinist, and spent a good share of his 
time in the study of perpetual motion. He built the first saw- 
mill at " Boston Corners," and some of the best white pine logs 
in the virgin forest of Norfolk were sawn into lumber at this 
pioneer mill. The old Court journal shows that on June llth, 
1806, John Slaght was appointed constable for Townsend. 

In the old New Jersey title deeds and family business 
papers we find the names of Peter, Philip and James, who are 
mentioned as sons of Henry Slaght, and there is no evidence 
showing that this Henry, who died in about 178*3, was not the 
original Hendrick Slacht who made the purchase of 625 acres in 
1750. The old papers also reveal the names of two sons-in law, 
namely, Timothy Skinner and Jesse Sutton. Two of the 
daughters in this original Slaght family married into the Rob- 
inson and Chambers families, and settled in Norfolk at an early 
date. The family of Hendrick Slacht, no doubt, was a large 

John Slaght had seven sons William, Henry, Philip, George, 


Joseph, Job and John ; and four daughters Mary, Elizabeth, 
Anna and Sarah. 

William Slaght, eldest son of John, married Elizabeth Par- 
ney, and settled on the homestead. He had five sons Oliver, 
Ezra, Abraham, Freeman and David ; and one daughter 

Henry Slaght, second son of John, married Harriet Hazle- 
ton ; settled first in Nissouri, afterwards in Norfolk, and finally, 
in 1839, moved to Michigan. He had six sons Alpheus, 
Thadeus, Henry, Levi, Chauncey and Eber ; and nine daughters 
Mary, Harriet, Sarah, Miriam, Charlotte, Louisa, Anne, Zil- 
pah and Cora. 

Philip Slaght, third son of John, was born in the pioneer 
Townsend home in 1804, and when twenty years old married 
Eliza Murray and settled, finally, near Bealton. He was indus- 
trious and economical, and succeeded in acquiring several tracts 
of land, upon which he comfortably settled his sons. He had 
eight sons, five of whom grew up Ira, Aaron, Hiram, Eli and 
Elias. There were two daughters Julia Ann and Mary Jane. 
Elias occupies the old homestead. Philip Slaght died in 1878, 
having reached his 74th year. 

George Slaght, fourth son of John, died single. 

Joseph Slaght, fifth son of John, married Palmyra Murray, 
and settled in Townsend. He had three sons, Louis, Gilbert 
and Albert ; and one daughter, Mary Ann. 

Job Slaght, sixth son of John, married Lavinia Shaw and 
settled near Simcoe. He had two sons. 

John Slaght, seventh son of John, settled in Norfolk, and had 
one son, Robert. 

Mary Slaght, eldest daughter of John, married Philip Austin, 
of Woodhouse. Her children are enumerated in the Austin 

Elizabeth Slaght, second daughter of John, married Aaron 
Barber, of Townsend. Her family is included in the Barber 

Sarah Slaght, daughter of John, married Solomon Austin. 


This pioneer mother has handed down the story of her first ex- 
periences as a pioneer housekeeper. Her experiences were shared, 
no doubt, by all her fellow pioneers to a greater or less extent. 
The trouble is, the particular facts in each case as related in 
the oft-repeated tales of our grandmothers, were not noted 
down while they were with us, and, unfortunately, we have 
forgotten them. After Sarah Slaght became a wife she worked 
out and earned a sufficient quantity of feathers to make two 
pillows. She grew a piece of flax the first season, and broke, 
hetcheled, spun and wove it into cloth for pillow cases and 
two bed-sheets. She started housekeeping with the indispens- 
able cow, of course, and she had six bowls in which to raise the 
cream. Her cream crock was an old tea-kettle, arid when she 
made butter she borrowed the churn of an accommodating 
neighbor. Girls, this is not an isolated case of shiftlessness, it 

O * 

was the way our grandmothers began the work of home-build- 
ing in pioneer times. It was the " rough hewing " in the work 
of preparing the timbers that formed the frame-work of what, 
in due time, became a prosperous, comfortable and contented. 
Norfolk home. Mrs. Austin's children, and those of her sister 
MARY, who married Philip Austin, are enumerated in the Austin 

Anna Slaght, daughter of John, married George Woodley, 
and settled in Townsend. She had six sons John, Aaron, 
Martin, George, Philip and Abram ; and six daughters Mary 
Ann, Hannah, Elizabeth, Sarah, Amanda and Nancy. 

The Woodley family has been identified with the old fami- 
lies of Long Point country almost from the beginning of the 
settlement, and the remainder of this sketch will be devoted to 
a brief genealogical review of the family. 

It is said that three Woodley brothers George, Tice and 
Levi emigrated from Germany to the New World about 
the middle of last century, and that George and Tice settled 
in the colony of New Jersey, and Levi wandered away and 
was never again heard of. When the war of the Revolution 
broke out, George espoused the British cause and Tice the 




Key Farm." He was twice 
three sons Matthias, John 
Mary and Hannah. By 
his second wife, Elizabeth 
Bowman, he had one son, 
David, and four daughters 
Elizabeth, Eliza, Marga- 
ret and Abigail. The old 
pioneer died in 1827, hav- 
ing reached a ripe old age. 

Matthias Woodley, eld- 
est son of George, married 
into the Malcolm family, 
and settled in Oakland, 
where he raised a family 
of seven children. 

John and George were 
twins. They were born, 
in 1795, at Stony Creek. 

American. Each fought 
all through the war, and 
when it terminated, George 
married the daughter of 
Col. John Wagers, an Irish 
officer, and went to St. 
John, N.B., where he lived 
four years. He came to 
Upper Canada at an early 
date, and was one of the 
pioneers of the Stony Creek 
settlement. Before the 
close of the century he 
came up to the new town- 
ship of Oakland, and set- 
tled on what has long since 
been known as "The Mc- 
married. By his first wife he had 
and George : and two daughters 



The former served as a volunteer in the war of 1812, and 
subsequently married Mercy Johnston, and settled, finally, at 
Boston, where he raised a family of seven children. George, 
as stated before, married Anna, daughter of John Slaght, and 
settled east of Waterford, where he raised a family of eleven 

David Woodley, youngest son of the old pioneer, married 
Frances Ann Jackson, of Toronto, and settled at Boston. He 
had a family of eight children, seven of whom grew up. Only 
one of this family resides in Norfolk, and that is Mrs. Jacob B. 
Johnson, of Boston. One son, Jonathan H., is a noted Baptist 
preacher, stationed at present near Tacoma, in the State of 

The old pioneer's daughters married into leading families, 
and his descendants, to-day, are not only numerous and widely 
scattered, but they have preserved in a marked degree the many 
excellent social qualities transmitted to them by their worthy 
old ancestors. 



To the girls of Norfolk who, in this year of our Lord 1897, 
are anticipating the time when they shall preside over homes 
of their own, this sketch is especially dedicated. These daugh- 
ters of ours will be the future mothers of "glorious old Nor- 
folk " not the wild, unbroken, forest-laden, beast-haunted 
Norfolk of a hundred years ago, but the cultivated, refined, 
garden-strewn and home-dotted Norfolk of to-day. As their 
great-grandmothers were the pioneer mothers of the first 
century, so will they become the pioneer mothers of the 
second century of our history. The forces of evolution are 
not spent. Wonderful as have been the fruits of inventive 
genius during the past century, human thought has not yet 
reached its limit. On the contrary, it has but just awakened 
from a long dark night of profound sleep, and the marvellous 
inventions and discoveries of the last half -century which have 
revolutionized the conditions of life and given us so many 
comforts and conveniences are but the first visible signs of 
this aw r akening ; and yet, when we compare the conditions of 
life a hundred years ago with those of to-day, it would seem 
that a point has been reached where further improvements are 
impossible. But the fact is, the era of thought is only begin- 
ning to dawn upon us, and what the result will be when the 
sun of the new day reaches high meridian is as far, or per- 
haps farther, from the scope of our imagination as were the 
present realities from the wildest imagination of our fore- 
lathers a century ago. Therefore, our daughters who will 
take up the solemn duties of wives and mothers at the 


beginning of the second century of our history will be the 
pioneers of that century ; and when it, in turn, shall have 
passed away, young people will look back and wonder at the 
great changes which have taken place since the crude old times 
of their great-grandmothers, just as the young people now do. 
May God help these prospective wives and mothers to hold 
sacred the remembrance of these grand old pioneer mothers 
whose lives were devoid of so many of the comforts and 
conveniences which have been reserved for them, and may 
they fully appreciate the greater advantages which it is their 
blessed privilege to enjoy, and avail themselves of the grander 
and more varied opportunities for the development of a higher 
type of womanhood. If they do this they will prove true to 
their day and generation, and although the most advanced and 
latest improved means within their reach will appear as mere 
crudities in the brighter light which is to come, their great- 
grandsons will look back through the years and exclaim : "All 
honor to our brave old grandmothers and great-grandmothers, 
who toiled under so many disadvantages, and yet by perse-, 
vering industry, trust in an overruling Providence and an 
unflinching fidelity to duty accomplished so much, and who, 
with all their hardships and inconveniences, were brave enough 
to make the best of their surroundings and be content with the 
possibilities that confronted them. 

Every person must be viewed in the light of his or her 
surroundings, and be judged accordingly. This rule is not 
always observed. Sometimes we do our fair daughters a 
great injustice by judging them in the light of other days. 
We create in our imagination an environment for them, and 
then censure them for not being what it is impossible for them 
to be. In other words, we condemn them sometimes because 
they are not what other girls have been whose advantages or 
disadvantages were altogether different. We remind them of 
what their mothers or grandmothers did when they were girls, 
and we leave the disheartening impression upon their young 
minds that, somehow, there is a degenerating tendency in the 


family. This is all wrong. God bless our girls ; they do not 
live in the days of their grandmothers, they live in their own 
days, and by the light of their own times they must stand or 
fall. Because they do not perform the same kind of duties 
their grandmothers did, or because they perform the same 
duties in an easier, more expeditious, or different manner, is no 
evidence that they are made of poorer stuff, morally or other- 
wise. If God in His infinite wisdom had ordained that these 
refined, poetical, music-loving and music-making daughters 
who add beauty, dignity and grace to our homes, had been 
called into being at the same time and under the same cir- 
cumstances as their grandmothers were, they would have been 
as brave, as true and as self-sacrificing as their grandmothers 
were ; and if these dear old grandmothers had been held in 
reserve by the mysterious forces of nature for the times in 
which we live, they would have been as refined and cultured, 
and as graceful and charming as their granddaughters. 

Purity of motive and action, persevering industry, patient 
and cheerful resignation to the inevitable, and a firm deter- 
mination to grapple with the possible, are the four cardinal 
principles involved in the development of a true and noble 
womanhood. Let us see what this means. 

1. Purity of motive and action. In our great-grandfathers' 
days many foolish, superstitious notions prevailed, which have 
been driven back into the regions of darkness whence they 
came by the dawning of the era of reason. These notions 
influenced the minds of our grandmothers to a greater or less 
extent in the regulation of their conduct and in the manage- 
ment of their household duties. For instance, they were 
averse to giving their daughters in marriage on a Friday, or 
the commencing of a new undertaking of any kind on that 
day. They were governed by the phases of the moon and the 
signs of the zodiac in pretty much everything they did. They 
made soap when the moon was in a proper phase, and to plant 
" cowcurnber " seed when the moon " wasn't"' right was con- 
sidered an act of gross ignorance on the part of anyone who 


desired a good supply of " pickles." The unfortunate babe 
that was so thoughtless as to " cut its teeth " when the " sign 
wasn't right " was expected to have a " harder time " of it, and 
cause its mother an extra amount of trouble. Roots, barks 
and herbs must be gathered in the " right of the moon," and if 
" my ole man " killed the hogs in the " wrong of the moon " the 
" dickens " would be to pay in the " fryin' of the fat." But 
all these vagaries did not make the motives which prompted 
their acts one whit less pure. They lived in the days of the 
tallow candle, and they could not see as clearly as their grand- 
daughters now sae ; and the duty of the latter is to walk in the 
brighter light as faithfully and as conscientiously as the former 
did in their lesser light. 

2. Persevering industry. What young woman in Norfolk 
to-day can read the story of our grandmothers' and great- 
grandmothers' lives in this old Long Point settlement without 
breathing out a prayer of thankfulness for the pleasanter 
places in which her lot is cast ? How laboriously they toiled ! 
With what perseverance they struggled right in the face of 
almost insurmountable obstacles and under the most trying 
difficulties ; and what a wonderful work they accomplished by 
their persevering industry ! When we read the story we are 
doubly impressed with the truthfulness of the old saying that 
" truth is stranger than fiction." Our girls will not burn brush, 
spin, weave or cook on a crane, but they will have their duties 
just the same; and if the time not required in the care of the 
home be given to modern society work instead of " hetcheling " 
flax, they must remember that great achievements in this 
world of action are won only by determined perseverence. 

3. Patient and cheerful resignation to the inevitable. Where 
this principle is not imbedded in the very concrete of individual 
character, any degree of happiness or contentment is out of the 
question. To be content with our lot may be, and may not be, 
praiseworthy. If by the term " lot " we mean our surround- 
ings, and these surroundings are bad, and the remedy for their 
improvement lies within our reach, then we should not be 


content with our lot. This would be indolence a something 
not compatible with intelligible happiness. To be cheerfully 
resigned to the inevitable is simply to fret not and worry not 
over matters and things which are quite beyond our reach. 
To worry and fret over what we cannot help is to rob life of 
its sweetest joys ; and why shouldn't it ? God has given us 
reasoning faculties, and it is His design that w r e shall make 
use of them for our own good ; and when we worry and fret 
over the inevitable we throw aside our reasoning faculties, 
thereby transgressing the divine laws which govern our being, 
and we are made to suffer the penalty and, surely, the with- 
holding of happiness is the most terrible penalty that could 
possibly be inflicted upon us. 

4. A firm determination to grapple with tlie possible. This is 
the secret of all true success in life. Cheerful resignation to 


the inevitable, and a firm determination to grapple with the 
possible, will lead to ultimate success. Hope is the mainspring 
of a busy life. The young woman who is about to assume the 
cares and responsibilities of a wife and mother in this prosaic 
life, and who is devoid of the heavenly gift of ideality, is an 
object of pity. Every girl should set up an ideal, and this 
ideal should be placed at the highest point within the limits of 
the possible, and reason must be the sole guide in fixing these 
limits. The ideal, therefore, should always come within the 
apparently possible, although in this short and fitful life it may 
be seldom, if ever, attained. To this firmly planted ideal is 
attached the beacon star of hope. The happiest and most 
useful lives are led by those who keep the signal-fires of hope 
ever aglow, and who are constantly striving to reach their 
ideal. Indeed, so much depends upon this daily striving that 
it would seem as though the ideal ought to be placed a little 
beyond the practicably possible, just within the confines of 
heaven itself, so as to make it utterly unattainable in this life. 
Then the star of hope would ever beckon us onward and 
upward, bringing us nearer and nearer to our cherished ideal 
until we reach the end of the boisterous journey of life and 


then while we wait for the grim ferryman to row us over the 
turbulent stream that separates the impossible from the 
possible, we might behold, just across on the shining shore, our 
long-sought-for ideal. When the ideal is reached in this life 
hope is extinguished, and the sun of happiness goes down for 
ever. May the future wives and mothers of " glorious old 
Norfolk " place their ideals sufficiently high to enable them to 
make the best of this life and lead them across the border into 
the " perfect life that is to come." 



THE Old Baptist burying ground at Vittoria contains the 
graves of many of our old pioneers. Some of these graves 
are very old, and there is one that bears a date as far back as 
1804. This is the tomb of Abigail Barber, the mother of 
pioneers. Forty-six years before this old grave was dug its 
occupant was born in the home of Jacob and Elizabeth Cosad, 
in Morris County, New Jersey. Mr. Cosad came from Holland 
about the middle of last century and settled at this place, 
where he lived until he reached a ripe old age. Both he and 
his wife died in the winter of 1812, and both had reached their 
eighty-eighth year. 

Before Abigail Cosad passed out of her " teens " she became 
the wife of Samuel Barber, a young business man of her own 
nati\ r e county. Mr. Barber engaged in the mercantile business 
on Schooley's Mountain, and met with a fair degree of success ; 
but in the year 1800 he was stricken with the Western fever 
and resolved to migrate to the new Upper Canada El Dorado 
Long Point settlement. A t this time they had twelve children, 
whose names and ages were as follows : Elizabeth, 22 ; Matthias, 
21; John, 19; Daniel, 18; Jane, 16; Mary, 14; Aaron, 13; 
Moses, 11 ; Miriam, 8 ; Elisha, 6 ; Samuel, 5, and Jacob, 3 years 
old. ELIZABETH, the eldest daughter, married William Wier, 
and remained in New Jersey. She died in 1854, in her 72nd 
year. DANIEL, the third son, also remained in New Jersey ; 
but Aaron S., late of Simcoe father of Charles, the lawyer 
is a son of Daniel. 

The Barber pioneer log cabin was erected on Lot 7, in the 
9th concession of Townsend, adjoining, on the south, the 


present grand old village of Waterford. After locating his 
land, Mr. Barber returned to New Jersey to settle up his 
business affairs, but before leaving he bargained for the grist- 
mill and a quantity of land at Waterford. Little did the wife 
and children think when they bade the husband and father 
good-bye, that they would never see him again dead or alive. 
After many weary weeks of watching and waiting a suspicion 
was aroused in the minds of the family that some terrible 
thing had happened, and Matthias and John, the two eldest sons, 
started off for New Jersey to learn the cause of their father's 
delay. Those were dark days for the pioneer mother. She 
was left alone in a new, sparsely settled, densely wooded 
country, with her eight remaining children, the eldest son 
being only thirteen years old. In the dear old New Jersey 
home she had never suffered privations or endured hardships. 
For the first time in her life she was made to realize the 
terrible condition of being hopelessly separated from husband, 
children, parents and the friends of youth. Who, among us, 
to-day, are able to portray the feelings of that mother as she 
lay upon her rude couch and stared into the darkness made 
impenetrable by the surrounding forest, and thought of the 
home and friends so far away, of her absent children, and the 
probable fate of her husband and its awful consequences ? 
To-day a stream of carriages daily pass the spot where stood 
nearly a hundred years ago the log cabin in which Abigail 
Barber spent those sleepless nights. A few old scraggy apple- 
trees mark the place, yet not one in the mighty, busy passing 
throng knows anything about it, and but few, aside from her 
own descendants, know that such a woman as Abigail Barber 
ever lived. 

When Mr. Barber had settled up his business affairs he 
started for his new home in Canada mounted on a grey horse, 
and having a considerable sum of money with him. He was 
traced as far as Easton, Penn., and no traces of him have ever 
been found since. He was, no doubt, waylaid and murdered 
by thugs who, in some way, had learned that he carried money 
with him. Owing to the loss of this capital the family were 


unable to meet the payments on the Waterford property, and 
it reverted to the original owners. The great responsibilities 
that devolved upon Mrs. Barber, as a result of this sad affair, 
were bravely met, but the trouble and sorrow weighing upon 
her heart soon broke down her constitution, and in 1804, only 
four years after she left her comfortable New Jersey home, 
she died, aged forty-six. Samuel Barber disappeared, or was 
murdered in 1800, being at that time in his forty- eighth year. 

Matthias Barber, the eldest son, married into the Petitt 
family and settled at Stony Creek, where he raised a family. 

John Barber, second son of Samuel, married Mary Slaght 
and settled on Lot 5, 9th concession of Townsend. He had 
seven sons Jacob, Aaron, Henry, Joseph, Daniel, David and 
John Louis; and five daughters Elizabeth, Abigail, Miriam, 
Lizana and Sarah. Jacob, the first-born son, died in youth. 

Aaron Barber, second son of John, married Nancy Heath, 
settled in Townsend and had five sons Justus, John William, 
Frederick, Aaron and Samuel; and two daughters Mary 
Maria and Martha. 

Henry Barber, third son of John, married Esther Kellum, 
settled in Townsend and had three sons Lemon, Eli and 
Libius ; and one daughter, Ruby Ann. 

Joseph Barber, fourth son of John, married Sarah Ann 
Clement, and settled in Windham. He had no family. 

Daniel Barber, fifth son of John, married Elizabeth Snider, 
settled on the homestead and had four sons Leander, Emerson 
A., Hiram and Alvin ; and four daughters Sarah M., Elva 
Ann, Alice and Louisa. 

David Barber, sixth son of John, died in youth. 

John L. Barber, seventh son of John, married Abigail 
Shaw, settled in Waterford and had two sons Alonzo and 
Henry ; and two daughters Olive and Mary. 

Elizabeth Barber, eldest daughter of John, married Henry 
Kitchen, and settled in Townsend. ABIGAIL died in youth. 
MIRIAM married Richard Kitchen, and settled in Townsend ; 
and LIZANA and SARAH, the two youngest daughters, both died 


John Barber was a pioneer deacon in the old Bloornsburg 
Baptist church. He let a most exemplary life, and died highly 
honored and respected in 1860, having reached his eightieth 

Aaron Barber, fourth son of Samuel, married Elizabeth 
Slaght, and settled at Boston. He operated a tannery and was 
noted for his sound judgment in business matters, being 
frequently appealed to by the old pioneers- in the settlement of 
disputes. He was a natural peacemaker and exerted a power- 
ful influence for good in the community in which he lived. 
He was a deacon in the old Baptist church at Boston for nearly 
half a century. He died in 1864 in his 78th year. He had 
four sons Samuel, John, Moses and Aaron ; and five daughters 
Maria, Cynthia, Nancy, Samantha and Elizabeth. The 
eldest son died in childhood. 

John Barber, second son of Aaron, married Rebecca Robin- 
son, settled in Townsend, and had six sons ^Joseph, George, 
Oliver, Ansley, Aaron, and Gary ; and four daughters Mary, 
Elizabeth, Hannah and Eleanor. 

Moses Barber, third son of Aaron, married Elizabeth Disher, 
settled at Boston, and had one daughter, Elizabeth. 

Aaron Barber, fourth son of Aaron, died single. 

Maria Barber, eldest daughter of Aaron, married Benjamin 
Hazleton, and settled in Michigan, north of Jackson. She had 
eleven children. 

Cynthia Barber, second daughter of Aaron, died single. 

Nancy Barber, third daughter of Aaron, married David 
Shearer, and settled in Charlotte ville. Her children are enu- 
merated in the Shearer genealogy. 

Samantha Barber, fourth daughter of Aaron, married Oliver 
Mabee, son of Simon, and settled at Boston. 

Elizabeth Barber, youngest daughter of Aaron, died single. 

Moses Barber, fifth son of Samuel, married Nancy Nelles, 
and settled near Boston. This old pioneer was one of the 
veteran foundation builders of old Townsend. Like his 
brothers, he was exemplary in his daily walk through life, and 


left a record behind him of patient industry and fidelity to 
righteous principles that any young man may wisely emulate. 
He died in 1881 at the ripe old age of ninety-one years. Moses 
Barber had three sons William, Abram and Henry J.; and 
five daughters Nancy, Jane, Miriam, Louisa and Matilda. 
These children all married and settled in Townsend. 

William Barber, eldest son of Moses, married Hannah Slaght, 
by whom he had one son, David, and two daughters Abigail 
and Mary. 

Abram Barber, second son of Moses, married Martha 
Robinson. He had no children. 

Henry J. Barber, third son of Moses, married Arsula Phelps 
and had one son, Louis C. 

Nancy Barber, eldest daughter of Moses, married John 
Keemer, and had one son, Harry, and one daughter, Minnie. 

Jane Barber, second daughter of Moses, married William 
Olmstead, by whom she had one daughter, Martha Jane. 

Miriam Barber, third daughter of Moses, married John 
Cline and had three sons Moses, Henry and Frank ; and four 
daughters Martha, Delila, Nancy and Salome. 

Louisa Barber, fourth daughter of Moses, married Ransom 
Culver and had one son, Seymore. Subsequently, she married 
Calvin Adams, of Malahide. 

Matilda Barber, youngest daughter of Moses, married James 
McMichael. She had no children. 

Henry J. Barber, the youngest son of the house of Moses, 
has been a prominent man in township and county affairs, 
having served twelve years in the Township and County 
Councils as Reeve of Townsend. 

Elisha Barber, sixth son of Samuel, married Elizabeth 
Messacar and settled on Lot 12, 4th concession of Townsend. 
He died in 1856, in his b3rd year. He had six sons Samuel, 
Hiram, Ira, Aaron, Elisha and Elias. 

Samuel Barber, eldest son of Elisha, died single. 

Hiram Barber, second son of Elisha, married Lydia Slaght, 
settled in Townsend, and had two sons George and Hiram ; 
and one daughter, Anna. 


Ira Barber, third son of Elisha, married Mary Ann Woodley, 
settled in Townsend, and had three sons George, Ira and 
Ambert; and one daughter, Miriam. Subsequently he married 
Charity Ann Upper, by whom he had two sons Charles and 
Frank ; and two daughters Orpha and Ruth. 

Aaron and Elisha, fourth and fifth sons of Elisha, both died 

Elias Barber, youngest son of Elisha, married Abigail 
Johnson, settled at Boston, and had three sons Johnson E., 
Elwin and Wilkie Collins. 

Jacob Barber, youngest son of Samuel, married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Isaac Smith, and settled in Townsend. He had 
one daughter, Jane, who married Dunham Hazleton, and settled 
in North Carolina, Subsequently she married Simeon Olm- 

Jane Barber, second daughter of Samuel, married William, 
eldest son of the original Abraham Smith, of Charlotteville. 
Her children are enumerated in the Smith genealogy. 

Mary Barber, third daughter of Samuel, married William 
Pitt Gilbert, and was left a widow with three daughters 


Abigail, Eliza and Hannah Subsequently she married Stephen 
Olmstead, by whom she had three sons Daniel, James and 
Gilbert; and two daughters Hannah and Ann. Of these 
children, ABIGAIL married Peter Mabee her children are 
enumerated in the Mabee genealogy. ELIZA married John 
Messacar, and settled just north of Waterford. HANNAH 
married James Haze, by whom she had two daughters 
Lucinda and Hannah. DANIEL is living in Michigan; JAMES 
settled and died near Delhi; and GILBERT settled, first in 
Middleton and finally in Michigan the three latter are Olm- 
stead's. The two Olmstead daughters HANNAH and ANN, 
married, respectively, Abraham Snively and John Bostwick, 
both of Simcoe. 

Miriam Barber, youngest daughter of Samuel, married 
Joseph Kitchen, and settled in Charlotteville. Her children 
are enumerated in the Kitchen genealogy. She died in 1875, in 
her 84th year. 



SEVERAL years before the war of the Revolution, an 
Englishman named John Haviland emigrated from England to 
the province of New York, and settled in a little valley near 
the beautiful Hudson, between Manhattan Island and Albany. 
This little valley has ever since been known as " Haviland's 
Hollow." John Haviland had three sons, one of whom settled 
in the city of New York, the second remained in Haviland's 
Hollow, and the third, John, came to Canada. 

When the colonies threw off their allegiance to the English 
king, in 1776, John Haviland, junior, owned two hundred acres 
of land lying within nine miles of the then city limits of New 
York. To-day, the great city covers this land and extends 
twelve miles beyond. When the war had reached a point 
where reconciliation was no longer possible, John Haviland 
sold this two hundred acres for what he could get and secreted 
the proceeds. His loyalty to the British Crown was his 
religion, and when the rebellious colonies declared themselves 
free and independent of the Mother Country, he viewed the act 
as the vilest of treason, and swore vengeance on all who sup- 
ported or sympathized with it in any way. He was a man of 
strong passions, and being actuated by impulse, he did nothing 
deliberately. His zeal fur the Loyalist cause blinded his eyes 
and seared his conscience, and led him into cruel excesses. He 
allied himself with that notorious troop known as " General 
Butler's Rangers." I have no apology to make for the acts 
which this guerilla band of " irregulars " may have committed. 
Let us remember that it was not an unusual incident of cruel 


war, and that the American accounts of the part played by 
General Butler and his men during the war are, no doubt, 
highly colored and greatly exaggerated. Guerilla movements 
are contingencies of war ; and when nations lay down the 
implements of peaceful industry and take up the sword and 
the torch for the purpose of destroying human life and the 
accumulated fruits of industry, there will always be found an 
element of hot-headed fanatics who will not, because they can- . 
not, submit to cool, calculating, military discipline. In war 
times, when the demons of destruction are turned loose, these 
men lose their heads and plunge into excesses that shock the 
nerves of that portion of the civilized world which is at peace 
with all mankind. 

In 1803 John Haviland came to Long Point with his family, 
consisting of three sons John, Benjamin and Daniel ; and five 
daughters Elizabeth, Mary, Eaner, Fanny and Loamy. He 
purchased six hundred acres of land in Townsend, comprising 
Lots 11 and 12 in the 1st concession, and Lot 12 in the 2nd 
concession. On these lots his sons settled, and the homes they 
made are classed among the best in Norfolk to-day. 

Mr. Haviland served in the war of 1812, and was wounded 
at the battle of Lundy's Lane. 

It is said that John Haviland came to the settlement with 
a considerable sum of money. When the Wentworth court- 
house was built in Hamilton, he loaned the county $16,000 ; 
and when he died he left $12,000 buried in the ground. He 
stated the amount of this buried sum in his will, and also gave 
instructions as to how and where to find it. The place 
burial had been located and recorded, no doubt, by a profes- 
sional surveyor, as the executors were unable to find it with- 
out the aid of one. Thomas Walsh was employed for this pur- 
pose, and it is quite probable the notes that guided him in his 
work were his own. Two certain trees were designated as 
starting points and from these two straight lines were run in- 
clining toward each other, the point of convergence being the 
point sought for. 



Mr. Haviland's life just 
lacked two years of being 
measured by a full century. 
John Ha viland, eldest son 
of John, married Esther, 
daughter of Rev. Peter 
Fairchild, and settled on 
part of the Haviland estate. 
In this branch were two 
sons Benjamin, and John ; 
and three daughters 
Sarah, Mary Loamy and 
Ruth. The younger of 
these sons, John, died since 
the data embodied in this 
sketch were gathered, at 
the advanced age of eighty-six years. He settled in the south 
half of Lot 12 when a young man, clearing and improving it 
until it became one of the finest and most valuable farms for 
its size in the country. For sixty-seven years this grandson 
of the old " Ranger " w r as a 
leading and a shining light 
in the old Boston Baptist 
church, and one of the most 
exemplary citizens, rank- 
ing among the solid yeo- 
manry of old Townsend. 
He was twice married. By 
his first wife, Amy John- 
ston, he had four, and by 
his second, Harriet Mal- 
colm, nine, children. 

Benjamin Haviland, 
second son of the old pio- 
neer, married Lucy Craw, 
and settled on the Havi- JOHN HAVILAND (THE GRANDSON). 



land estate. He had eight sons Isaac, John, Joseph, William 
H., Benjamin N., James M., Andrew and George; and two 
daughters Sarah and Charity. Just one half of these sons 
and daughters are dead. JOSEPH, the third son, died quite 
recently near Delhi, in his 76th year. He was married three 
times, and left five sons and eight daughters. 

WILLIAM H., the fourth son, is the well-known " Elder 
Haviland,'' the old veteran Baptist divine, who has labored so 
indefatigably in the work of building up the Master's cause in 
Norfolk for so many long 
years. Entering the min- 
istry when but eighteen 
years old, he has preached 
the good news for fifty-four 
consecutive years. During 
this time he founded seven 
churches, baptized over 
two thousand persons, mar- 
ried about one thousand 
and buried about the same 
number. In addition to 
this he enjoys the proud 
satisfaction in his old age 
of having been the humble 
instrument in leading to 


conversion some twelve or 

fourteen persons who are now occupying pulpits as pastors 

of churches. 

Benjamin Haviland, father of this branch, was a great 
favorite with the Indians. For many years an old squaw and 
her family camped near Mr. Haviland's house, and she used to 
gather her pappooses about her every night and morning and 
pray in Indian. 

Daniel Haviland, youngest son of the old pioneer, married 
Mary Henry, by whom he had one son, David, and one 
daughter, Sarah. Elizabeth Haviland, eldest daughter of the 


old pioneer, married Benjamin Fairchild, and settled in Towns- 
end. Eaner Haviland, second daughter of the old pioneer, 
married Hugh McCall, and settled near Port Stanley. 

Loamy Haviland, the third daughter, married one Hodge, 
and subsequently Marshall Lawrence, of New York. 

Fanny Haviland, the youngest daughter, married Henry 
Cornwall, and settled in the Grand River valley. Mr. Cornwall 
won a wide reputation as an expert horseman. 

The six hundred acres of land purchased by John Haviland 
was heavily timbered. The timber had no commercial value, 
and it had to be logged and burned. On the portion cleared 
by his son Benjamin, it is said great walnut trees were logged 
and burned which would be worth $200 each were they 
standing to-day. On this same farm, now owned by Rev. 
William H. Haviland, some remarkable crop statistics are 
given, showing the wonderful fertility of the soil. In the 
early times a gentleman from Rochester, who was visiting 
Mr. Haviland, was struck with the fine appearance of a corn 
crop ; and he persuaded Mr. Haviland to measure one acre of it 
and carefully ascertain the yield in bushels of merchantable 
shelled corn. He did so, and found the yield to be eighty 
bushels. From a field on this farm an average yield of fifty 
bushels of clean, marketable wheat per acre, has been obtained. 
Two Englishmen were employed to harvest this crop with 
sickles at fifty cents per acre ; and it is said they averaged one 
acre each per day. This wheat sold at $2.25 per bushel. One 
valuable feature of the farm is a spring which bubbles out be- 
tween two rocks, of such constant flow and in such quantity 
that three hundred barrels have been taken from it in one day, 
during a severe drought, without exhausting the supply. The 
water is ice cold in summer and never freezes in winter. 



WALSINGHAM may boast of one of her original pioneers, 
with an assurance that the early settlers in all Long Point 
settlement, were they alive to-day, would join her in singing 
his praises. This man's name was Edward McMichael. He 
was of Scotch descent, and was born in Newton, Sussex 
County, New Jersey. His parents were in easy circumstances, 
and Edward was given the best education the schools in the 
colony at that time afforded. He married Elizabeth McAllister, 
a member of an influential family of that name in Phila- 
delphia. When the war of the Revolution broke out Edward 
McMichael, being a Loyalist, enlisted in the British army, and 
was given a captain's commission. The McAllisters espoused 
the cause of independence, and thus we find Mrs. McMichael 
placed in an unenviable position, being the wife of a man 
engaged in deadly combat with the members of her own 
family. It was a trying ordeal, but she remained a true and 
faithful wife through it all. She prayed for her husband's 
safety ; visited him in camp, and ministered to his comfort ; 
but her petitions to the throne of grace were always accom- 
panied with an earnest appeal that the God of nations would 
smile approvingly on the cause of liberty and grant success to 
her people in their struggle for independence. Wives and 
mothers who read this sketch may well breathe out a silent 
prayer of heartfelt thankfulness for the pleasant places in 
which their lot is cast, and for the absence in their lives of the 
terrible experiences which fell to the lot of this old pioneer 
wife and mother, during these seven years of strife and 

Captain McMichael lost an eye at the Battle of Trenton;' 


and Mrs. McMichael used to tell her children of an incident 
that occurred there at the time of the battle. A Mrs. Trent, 
who had owned the ground whereon the town was built, 
opened her house for hospital purposes, and assisted in the 
work of caring for the wounded. Mrs. McMichael was there, 
and besides attending her own husband she assisted Mrs. Trent 
in caring for others. Among those brought in was an English 
officer who had lost a portion of one of his hands. While the 
wound was being prepared for the bandage, the officer became 
peevish and impatient. He remarked in a petulant manner 
that the " Americans were a hignorant pack of 'eathen. Why" 
said he, " their very hofficers cawn't write their own names." 
At this point Mrs. Trent remarked, pointing to the torn and 
bleeding hand, " If the American officers are unable to write 
their names they know how to make their marks." 

Captain McMichael was with Cornwallis at the Yorktown 
surrender. During the afternoon of that memorable day, 
October 19th : 1781, Mrs. McMichael watched by the side of a 
sick woman in Yorktown. About two o'clock the patient began 
to wander in her mind. Her words were incoherent for some 
time, but suddenly she exclaimed in low clear tones : " In a 
few hours a new nation will be born into the world, or else it 
will be strangled in its embryonic state." About four o'clock 
in the afternoon the town crier, who was a Dutchman, was 
heard shouting, " F-o-u-r o'glock, f-o-u-r o'glock, und Cornvallis 
vas surrender." The sick woman heard the cry in the street, 
and she shouted, " Thank God," three times, and it is needless 
to add that the wife of one of those British soldiers, who was 
at that very moment a prisoner of war, voiced the prayer 
which her patient had uttered. Mrs. McMichael watched the 
process of surrender until the last sentry-box had been vacated 
by a red-coat and filled by a blue-coat. 

Early in the spring of 1787, Captain McMichael started 
with his family it was all he had left for the wilds of 
western Canada. They had four children, one of whom had 
been sent on in advance with the family of Captain Frye. 
They came on horseback, under the leadership of an Indian 


guide. Mrs. McMichael carried her youngest child in her arms, 
and the other two were tied in chairs suspended on either side 
of the horse, one balancing the other. Like all the early 
pioneers who came from the old colonies, they ran many 
narrow escapes from the wolves, and suffered untold hardships 
while making the journey. 

The McMichaels crossed the Niagara River in the month of 
August and remained in the Niagara settlement until the 
spring of 1794, when they came up to Long Point and settled 
on the lake front of Walsingham a little west of Port Rowan. 
Captain McMichael was a " leading and shining light " in the 
little settlement. He was most exemplary in character ; and 
being a man of more than ordinary intelligence, he became a 
" head-light " for his fellow pioneers. But the hardy settlers 
had no sooner learned to love him than they were called upon 
to mourn his loss. In the month of September, 1800, only six 
years after he erected his pioneer log cabin, he died, leaving a 
widow and ten children to mourn his untimely end. But the 
widow had passed through the crucible of fierce trials during 
the revolutionary war and in its terrible results, and she met 
this new trial of caring for a large family of fatherless 
children in a dense wilderness with a degree of fortitude that 
was highly praiseworthy. She died in 1839. 

The McMichael family consist3d of five sons William. 
George, Henry, James and Hugh; and five daughters Hannah, 
Julia, Eleanor, Eliza and Sarah. 

William Me Michael, eldest son of Captain Edward, was a 
large, muscular, fine-looking man. He was an athlete of no 
mean degree. On one occasion a boat was being loaded with 
flour at Port Rowan, and Mr. McMichael was present and 
watched the men at work. Each barrel was handled by two 
men, and it seemed to be hard work for them. Finally, Mr. 
McMichael came forward and, seizing a barrel by the chimes, 
lifted it at arm's length and held it over his head with the 
greatest apparent ease. He married Cynthia Dodd, and settled 
in Walsingham. He had two daughters, who married in the 
Smoke and McGill families. Both settled in the States. 


George McMichael, second son of Captain Edward, died 
single. In 1809 he was appointed constable for Walsingham 
by the Court of Quarter Sessions at Turkey Point. He enlisted 
in the war of 1812, and was killed at the battle of Fort Erie. 

Henry McMichael, third son of Captain Edward, died 
single also. He was drowned while crossing to Long Point, 
and his body was found down the lake some time after. 

James McMichael, the fourth son, married Mrs. Duicher, by 
whom he had one daughter. The family settled in the States. 

Hugh McMichael, the youngest son, never married. 

Hannah McMichael, the eldest daughter of Captain Edward, 
married William Backhouse. Her children are enumerated in 
the Backhouse genealogy. 

Julia McMichael, the second daughter, married Anthony 
Fick, and settled in Walsingham. She had three children 
a son and two daughters. JOHN, the son, was stricken with 
the gold fever in 1849 and started for California, and, as is 
supposed, was killed by the Indians on the western plains. 
ELEANOR, the elder daughter, married George Tremaine, and 
settled in Detroit. MATILDA, the younger daughter, married 
Warren Hunt, of St. Thomas, who died soon after the marriage. 
Subsequently she married George Salmon, son of the Rev. 
George Salmon, of Simcoe. 

Sarah McMichael, the third daughter, married a man named 
Dresser. They settled in the States. 

Eleanor McMichael, the youngest daughter of Captain 
Edward, married Henry, son of Allen Ellis, Esq., of Mount 
Pleasant. They settled in Walsingham, and had three sons 
Edward, James and Wallace; and two daughters Elizabeth 
and Hannah. EDWARD enlisted in the Northern army and 
contracted a fever, of which he died. JAMES was also a 
soldier in the Union army, being captain of a company. He 
is living in Chicago. W'ALLACE; is also an ex-Union soldier, 
and is also living in Chicago. ELIZABETH married Nicholas 
Mclntyre, and settled near Mount Pleasant. HANNAH married 
Charles, son of Rev. Peter Jones, of Brant ford, Chief of the Six 
Nation Indians. 



ONE of the most prominent characters in the history of Long 
Point settlement was Judge James Mitchell. He was born in 
Scotland and educated in Edinburgh University. Dr. Strachan, 
of historical fame, was a fellow-student at this grand old insti- 
tution of learning, and he and Mitchell were ever after the 
warmest of friends. At the close of last century, Colonel 
Hamilton, a member of the Provincial Parliament, while 
visiting his native land, engaged young Mitchell to come out 
and serve as private tutor in his family, and this engagement 
was the means of bringing him into the new country. He 
served as private tutor until the district grammar schools 
were established, in 1807. His friend, Dr. Strachan, was a 
member of the Executive Council at this time, and through 
his influence, Mr. Mitchell was placed in charge of the London 
District Grammar School. He was granted Lots 21 and 22 in 
the 1st concession of Charlotte ville, and on this grant, at his 
own pioneer home, the grammar school was established. Many 
of our most distinguished men of later times received their 
education at this little grammar school. When it is remem- 
bered that such men as Dr. Egerton Ryerson, Dr. John 
Ryerson, Rev. William Ryerson, Rev. Edway Ryerson, Rev. 
George Ryerse, Ephraim Tisdale, and others of like calibre, 
were prepared at this school, exclusively, for their future 
work in life, the superior qualifications of James Mitchell as 
an instructor will be readily perceived. True, the old educa- 
tional war-horse, Dr. Egerton Ryerson, put a finishing touch 
on his education elsewhere, yet he always referred to the 
old grammar school as his little Alma Mater. 


Judge Mitchell was a busy man. Every moment that 
could be spared from his school duties was devoted to clearing 
and improving his land. In this way he found his recreation. 
By this alternate exercise of brawn and brain he preserved 
a vigorous manhood and accomplished many difficult tasks. 
There is good authority for stating that this school received 
an annual grant of 100 during the time Judge Mitchell had 
charge of it, although the total sum voted in 1807 for the 
support of eight grammar schools was 500. 

The District Grammar School was removed to Vittoria 


after the Court-house was completed at that place, in 1822. 
Several years before this, however, Mr. Mitchell, having re- 
signed his charge of the school, had been succeeded by one 
of his old pupils, Rev. Egerton Ryerson. In 1819, through 
-v the influence of Dr. Strachan, he was appointed Judge of 
London District. When the new Court-house in Vittoria was 
burned, in 1826, the courts were removed to London. This 
change made it necessary for the Judge to reside in London 
a large portion of the time. This appointment was a most 
fortunate one for the country ; but it was a most unfortunate 
thing for the members of the Judge's family who remained on 
the farm, as they were deprived of the ennobling and stimu- 
lating influence of his companionship for so much of the time 
. , during his long tenure of office. For twenty-four years and 
nine months Judge Mitchell held the position of District 
Judge. Nearly a quarter of a century he sat on the judicial 
bench, and during all this time, it is claimed, there were only 
three appeals made from decisions rendered by him ! " Acts 
speak louder than words," and the official record made by 
Judge Mitchell in the judicial annals of Upper Canada speaks 
louder in his praise than would the highest eulogy that might 
be written. 

For a portion of the time during which he served he was 
burdened with the duty of collecting tavern licenses, in addition 
to his ordinary judicial duties, and the yearly salary paid him 
by the Government in remuneration for his arduous labors 


amounted, it is said, to the enormous sum of 40. In token, 
however, of his sterling uprightness of character and the 
efficient manner in which he performed his judicial duties, 
he was presented with twenty-five acres of land in London, 
which he afterwards sold for SsOO. 

The success which crowned Judge Mitchell's judicial labors 
appears more wonderful when we remember that he was not a 
member of the legal profession. He was a learned man and 
was endowed with a judicial mind, although not versed in 
thj quibbles of the law. He possessed a keen sense of justice 
and a resolute will to administer it in all cases ; and as justice 
is the fountain-head of all wise and wholesome laws, his 
decisions were sound, and were generally accepted as final 
adjustments of all matters in dispute. 

During the war of 1812 the then grammar school teacher 
took up arms in defence of his home. He was captain of a 
company of militia, and took part in the battle of Lundy's 
Lane. When he retired from the bench, in 1844, he returned 
to his farm, where he lived during the remainder of his life. 

Judge Mitchell had four sons James, Lorenzo, John and 
Erasmus ; and two daughters Elizabeth and Frances. 

Dr. James Mitchell, eldest son of the Judge, married Martha 
McKay, of Hamilton, and settled at Dundas. He died with 
cholera in 1853. 

Lorenzo Mitchell, the second son," married Elizabeth, daugh- 
ter of Capt Samuel Ryerson, and settled on the old homestead. 
They are now living in Port Ryerse. They had ten children, 
seven of whom fell victims to diphtheria and other maladies in 
childhood. Three daughters grew up, and married Sarah, 
Jane Ann and Frances. SARAH married James Thomson, 
and settled in Paris. JANE ANN married Charles Winter, and 
settled in Michigan ; and FRANCES married C. C. Backhouse, 
barrister, of Simcoe. 

John Mitchell, the third son, died single in Detroit, with 
small-pox, in 1850. He was Professor of Penmanship in a 
commercial college in that city. 


Erasmus Mitchell, the fourth son, married Mary Sheridan, 
of Waltham, Mass., and settled on the homestead. He is at 
present living in Detroit. 

Elizabeth Mitchell, elder daughter of Judge Mitchell, mar- 
ried John McDonald, Sheriff of Huron District, and settled in 
Goderich. She had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married a 
lawyer, a son of the late Colonel Gordon, of Toronto. 

trances Mitchell, the younger daughter, married Donald 
McDonald, the veteran senator, who died in 1880. After the 
Senator's death his family, a large one, moved to California. 

It is believed by many of Judge Mitchell's descendants that 
the notorious Henry Sovereign was tried and sentenced by their 
ancestor, but this is a mistake. Mr. Mitchell was simply a 
district judge, and had nothing whatever to do with the Court 
of Assize. 

The venerable Judge D. Hughes, of St. Thomas, was a young 
and rising member of the legal profession in the new and 
thriving town of London when the district courts were held 
there, and the many amusing incidents related by him in 
connection with Judge Mitchell's courts in those early times 
would fill a volume. Indeed, a most interesting volume of 
local history might be written on the experiences of the 
jurymen of old London District in their travels through the 
forest and in their attendance at Judge Mitchell's courts. 
The writer of such a work would be able to find an abund- 
ance of material to amuse as well as to instruct his readers. 
Judge Hughes speaks of a certain place in the forest which 
was a much frequented pioneer house of accommodation in 
those times. During court terms its means of entertainment 
were taxed to the utmost by the demands of jurymen and 
others having business with the courts. Many came long- 
distances on foot, bringing their rations with them ; while 
others came on horseback, prepared to purchase whatever 
supplies were needed during the journey. There was one 
thing, however, that was supposed to be absolutely indispens- 
able in those times, and that was simple, plain, old-fashioned 



whiskey. It would never do to take chances in obtaining 
this grand essential at the stopping places, and so pretty 
much every traveller carried his own supply. Near this 
popular tavern was a remarkable spring of clear, cold water, 
and it is said these pioneer jurymen were wont to pour their 
a grog" into this spring, and thus slake their thirst during their 
temporary stay. Nowadays jurymen drink watered whiskey, 
but in pioneer times they drank whiskeyed water. 



IN the early days of old Long Point settlement, money was 
a scarce article among the settlers. Their wants were few, and 
the most of these were supplied by crude, home-devised means. 
An iron kettle was the great desideratum after the log-house 
had been erected in fact, it was an indispensable article of 
domestic use in the log cabin era. By its use a family supply 
of sugar, potash, soap and various other necessaries was ob- 
tained. The "six-pail" kettle was the usual size, and more 
than one Long Point pioneer carried one of these kettles on his 
back from N iagara through the forest ; and we must not forget 
that the old-fashionod kettles, like the old-fashioned stoves, 
were much heavier than the kettles and stoves of like dimen- 
sions are in our time. Tea was very expensive in pioneer times. 
It was a luxury quite beyond the reach of the settler, and but 
little of it found its way into the log cabins. A warm drink 
made by steeping various kinds of barks and roots was used as 
a substitute ; and a kind of coffee made of roasted corn and 
other home prepared materials was used. 

A cow or two, a few sheep, a yoke of oxen, two or three 
pigs, a few chickens and a big iron kettle, was considered a 
good start for any family. With this outfit, the settler was 
pretty much independent of the outside world. The dairy was 
in full operation from the day the log cabin was built, as the 
cows were able to get their living in the forest. A supply 
of pork, also, was readily obtained in the start, as the pigs 
found an abundance of nuts to grow fat on. Skins of wild and 
domestic animals were tanned in troughs, and thus, material 


was - obtained for footwear and various other purposes. An 
early supply of wool was available, as sheep, also, were able 
to subsist on Nature's supply of herbage. As soon as a little 
virgin soil was reclaimed and brought under cultivation, flax 
was sown and soon the settler was provided with two raw 
materials wool and flax ; and necessity found ways and means 
of converting these two all-important products of pioneer life 
into nearly every article of bedding and wearing apparel 
needed. Coons were plentiful, and a home-made cap made of 
a home-tanned coon-skin, was just as comfortable, and far more 
durable, than the three dollar caps worn by us. In fact, as be- 
fore stated, the pioneer's wants, out side of what he was able 
to supply at home, were few ; and, consequently, there was not 
much use for money as a medium through which the settler 
might exchange that which he had and did not want, for that 
which he did not have, and wanted. 

Later on, this isolated, self-dependent condition, gave way 
to a system of barter, or an interchange of commodities. Saw- 
mills made their appearance, and the settler exchanged saw- 
logs for lumber and shingles. Grist-mills were built, and the 
hollow in the white-oak stump was no longer used as a grain 
mortar. Tanneries were erected, and the old tan-trough went 
into decay and took its sickening odor with it. Stores of 
merchandise appeared here and there, and a sort of home market 
was established where furs and other commodities might be 
exchanged for articles of food and comfort which could not be 
produced at home ; and thus the settler's wants began to 

In this stage of development, numerous distilleries made 
their appearance. 

As we look back at this distillery epoch in our history, we 
feel inclined to place a low value on the moral tone of pioneer 
society at that time. We often hear it remarked that whiskey 
was cheap and pure in those days, and that drunkenness was less 
prevalent than it is to-day. This sounds well as an apology for 
the enormous quantity of whiskey consumed by our hearty old 


ancestors, still it does not quite remove the feeling that the 
moral tone of those times was not as good, so far as the use of in- 
toxicating liquors is concerned, as it is in our day. But we must 
not boast, as individuals, of being more temperate in the use 
of ardent spirits on account of our superior virtues and moral 
excellences, for this would place our staunch old forefathers in 
a false light. We drink less whiskey than they did, not be- 
cause we are better men and women, but because we live in a 
better age. Then, it was the fashion to drink whiskey ; now, 
it is not. Then, it was deemed a universal tonic for every 
weakness of the flesh, and was considered indispensable in the 
daily transaction of business; now, we look upon old king 
Alcohol as a deceiver, a mocker and a destroyer. If our fore- 
fathers had seen the old tyrant in the brighter light of our 
times, they would have shown him less favors than we do, for 
their convictions of right and wrong were stronger than ours, 
and they were more courageous in giving their convictions 
practical effect, than we are. 

These distilleries made a market for rye and corn, and as 
the larger portion of the cleared lands in the settlement were 
especially adapted to the growth of these two cereals, they 
became the staple crops. The distillers operated with limited 
capital which was sometimes tied up in stock, and, con- 
sequently, they were not at all times able to pay the settlers 
for their grain in the coin of the Queen's realm. And even 
when they were in a position to pay cash, the price offered in 
trade was so much better, the settlers got into the habit of ex- 
changing their grain for whiskey. In this way whiskey be- 
came a sort of medium of exchange. It was not an unusual 
thing at this time for a well-to-do settler to have his cellar full 
of 50-gallon casks of whiskey. Of course the stock improved 
with age, and when he was able to hold it, it was as good as so 
much money put out at interest with the advantage of re- 
taining it in his own hands and realizing upon it whenever he 
wished to. The settler who " set 'em up " in a liberal way was 
more apt to find a market among the tavern-keepers for a 


barrel of whiskey now and then, then the fellow who did all 
his drinking out of a quart dipper in his own cellar. Every 
storekeeper dealt in it, and a barrel of whiskey might always 
be turned in on account, or exchanged for other supplies. 
Whiskey was sound currency everywhere, and instances are 
recorded where labor contracts were based on a whiskey con- 
sideration. " Boot money " at this time invariably meant 
whiskey ; and one instance is related of a man who obtained a 
wife in consideration of a barrel of \vhiskey, and after she 
married him he stole the whiskey and drank it himself. 
Whiskey during this period seems to have been looked upon 
as the " staff of life." It was found everywhere, at " raisin!s," 
at " loggin' bees," at " plowin' matches," at ' quiltin's/' at 
" huskin' bees," and, in fact, wherever the people assembled ; 
except, perhaps, at the weekly prayer meetings. 

The quantity of whiskey consumed by some of the old 
pioneers is a sufficient proof that it must hav.e been " cheaper 
and purer " than it is to-day. When the business affairs of one 
prominent old pioneer were settled up after his death, his dis- 
tillery bill showed that he had consumed a half gallon of 
whiskey per day for some time previous to his death. The 
pages of Cross & Fisher's old day-book tell many a similar 
story ; but it will be sufficient to mention one case only. The 
name of a certain old pioneer, whose descendants are very 
numerous and highly-respected, appears on nearly every page 
of this old blotter. It seems that on the 22nd of July, in a 
certain year, this almost daily customer made up his mind that 
he was squandering too much valuable time in buying his 
whiskey from day to day by the single gallon, and so he made 
a purchase of a 54-gallon cask of whiskey. On the 22nd of 
September just two months after the cask was empty, and 
the thirsty old pioneer was again buying by the single gallon. 
Oh ! yes ; whiskey must have been cheaper and purer in those 




M Irishman was once asked where he was born, and his 
jreply was, " 'Arrah, bedad, an' I wuz barn at Nan tucket, Cape 
Cod, an'' all along the coast." Pat had about the same experi- 
ence in coming into the world that a brood of pioneer chickens 
ihad which were landed at the mouth of Big Creek on the 
frth day of June, 1796. They were hatched out during twenty- 
one of the days required for making the journey from New 
Brunswick to Long Point. Just where the first peep was 
heard the historian does not tell us ; it may have been among 
the " Thousand Islands," or, possibly, on the bosom of our own 
Lake Erie. Neither are we informed as to what particular 
breed L they were; but they were " game," no doubt, and, like 
their pioneer owners, had to " scratch for their grub " in the 
new country. Some hens would have idled away the time 
" cackling " over the danger of being devoured by wolves and 
other wild beasts of the forest, but the old hen that hatched 
these chickens was not that kind of a hen. She %< clucked " 
business, and had no time to fool away in senseless worry. 
She had laid her share of eggs and the time had come to 
" set," and so she set. She was a true pioneer hen. She did 
not fret about inconveniences and prospective dangers. Duty 
called and she responded regardless of consequences. The 
hooting of the owls and the barking of the foxes did not deter 
her in the least in the prosecution of the duties incumbent 
upon her, or shake her faith in the future. Brave old pioneer 
hen ! 

The woman who owned this sensible old hen was the wife 
of Robert Henderson, who, with her husband and her son 


William, were three of the score or more, constituting the so- 
called McCall party that landed at Port Royal on the day 
above mentioned. The party included the families of Lieut. 
James Monroe, Robert Monroe, Donald McCall, Robert Hender- 
son, Noah Fairchild and young Thomas Price. The genealogy 
of Donald McCall and his five sons is given elsewhere, as is 
that of the Price family also. 

Lieut. James Monroe received a U. E. Loyalist grant of 
land, and settled on Lot 14, 4th concession of Charlotteville, 
and built the house described in sketch " Old Fort Monroe." 
He had two sons Robert and Daniel ; and one daughter, Mary. 

Robert Monroe, elder son of James, married Phoebe Wood, 
and succeeded his father on the homestead. He had three 
sons David, Edwin and Henry. DAVID died single. EDWIN 
married into the Jewell family and settled on part of the 
homestead, which he still occupies. Subsequently he married 
into the Miller family for his second wife. His sons are in 
the States, and one daughter married John Marshall, of Char- 
lotteville. HENRY went away to the States. 

Daniel Monroe, younger son of James, married Olive 
Smalley and settled on Lot 13, 6th concession of Charlotteville. 
He had one son, William, who married Eva, daughter of 
Abraham Smith. William built the old tavern at Charlotte- 
ville Centre, and occupied it a number of years. Arthur, his 
only son, was born there. 

Mary Monroe, only daughter of Lieutenant James, married 
Ephraim Tisdale, and settled in Charlotteville. Her children 
are enumerated in the Tisdale genealogy 

Dr. Robert Monroe, the old pioneer and brother of James, 
settled on Lot 1 1 , concession A., which was a U. E. Loyalist 
grant. He had five or six children, but they scattered, and 
their descendants are unknown to the writer. Two of his sons, 
Jesse and Samuel, settled, it is said, somewhere in Windham. 
One of his daughters, Elizabeth, married Philip Wilson, the 
Lynedoch pioneer. She is familiarly spoken of by the old 
people as " Aunt Lydia " Wilson. 

" Uncle Phil " Wilson was the first settler at Lynedoch. 


His settlement was effected about the time " Uncle Frederick " 
Sovereign settled at Frederick sburg, and the village that sub- 
sequently gathered about his home ought to have been named 
" Philipsburg." 

On the return of General McArthur's troop, after raiding 
the county during the war of 1812, they camped for the last 
time on Norfolk soil, on the spot now known as the Lynedoch 
picnic grounds. This beautiful park is the property of the 
Hon. John Charlton, and is pleasantly situated, commanding a 
fine view of the valley on either side. Philip Wilson was a 
prisoner of war at this encampment, and he was so impressed 
with the natural beauty of the place that he resolved to settle 

The old Bostwick road passed the cabin door, and although 
" Uncle Phil " and " Aunt Lydia " had no neighbors in the 
early days, their lonely home was frequently visited by land- 
seekers and strangers from the " Town of Delaware " and 
other distant Western points, as they came and went during 
the Court-house times in old Vittoria. 

" Uncle Phil " kept one eye on business chances, and he 
opened a tavern in the little valley ; but of all the people 
who enjoyed his warm hospitality in those early pioneer times, 
not one is left to tell the story ; and even the moss-covered 
tombstones in our graveyards do not reveal the names of all 
the early settlers who were wont to assemble at " Uncle Phil's" 
and tell bear stories and " swap yarns " with each other. 

Mr. Wilson operated the first mills at Lynedoch and met 
with a fair degree of business success. He died in 1863, in 
his 76th year, leaving one son, Abner, and two daughters 
Catherine and Lucinda. 

The family of Dr. Robert Monroe were possessed with a 
roaming disposition, and the family genealogy as given here is, 
therefore, unavoidably incomplete. 

Noah Fairchild married Elizabeth, daughter of Donald 
McCall, before he came to the settlement. As a U. E. Loyalist 
he drew Lot 13, 5th concession of Charlotte ville, upon which he 
settled. By his first marriage he had one son, Nathaniel ; and 


five daughters Jemima, Elsie, Rebecca, Mary and Elizabeth. 
After the pioneer mother died, Mr. Fairchild married Mary 
Nevill, by whom he had one son, Noah ; and five daughters 
Deborah, Mahala, Phoebe, Esther and Anseletta. Noah Fair- 
child died in 1833, in his 61st year. His wife Elizabeth died 
in 1806 in her 25th year ; and his wife Mary, in 1856, in her 
67th year. 

Nathaniel Fairchild, eldest son of Noah, married Anna 
Palrnerston, and settled on the homestead, where he raised a 
family. His son Henry married into the Tinbrook family, 
and settled in the township. One daughter, Elizabeth, settled 
in Michigan ; and another, Hetty, married into the Townsend 
Fairchild family. There was a daughter Jane, and another, 
Sarah, in the family. The father died in 1847, in his 44th 
year; and the mother died the following year, in her 41st 

Jemima Fairchild, eldest daughter of Noah, married John 
Brown, of Middleton. Her children are enumerated in the 
Brown family genealogy. 

Elsie Fairchild, second daughter of Noah, married Francis 
L. Walsh. Her children are enumerated in the Walsh family 

Rebecca Fairchild, third daughter of Noah, married David 
Hutchiiison, and settled in Malahide. . She is a widow, and has 
reached her 93rd year. Her children are enumerated with the 

Mary and Elizabeth Fairchild, youngest daughters of Noah, 
by his first wife, were twin sisters. The former married James 
Haze, as his second wife, and died childless ; and the latter 
married Cornelius Corless, and settled in Townsend. Subse- 
quently she married Peter Beal. She had two daughters 
Rebecca and Mahala ; the first of whom married in the 
Hazleton family, and the second one married Richard Churchill, 
and settled in Boston. 

Noah Fairchild, only son of Noah by his second wife, 
married Sarah Palmerston, and settled on the homestead. He 
had two daughters, both of whom died young. Mr. Fairchild 


died in 1839, in his 29th year. His widow subsequently 
married Jacob McCall. 

Deborah Fairchild, eldest daughter of the original Noah, 
by his second wife, married John Blainey, and died in 1840, in 
her 3 1 st year. 

Mahala Fairchild, the second daughter, died single in 1834- , 
in her 20th year. 

Phoebe Fairchild, the third daughter, died single in 1837, 
in her 21st year. 

Esther Fairchild, the fourth daughter, settled in the 
Western States. 

Anseletta Fairchild, youngest daughter of the original 
Noah, married Alanson Wood. 

The Fairchild family, of Charlotteville, are the descendants 
of Abiel Fairchild, of New Jersey. In the New Jersey family 
was a daughter, Rebecca, who married a Smith, and settled in 
that State. Subsequently, she was left a widow and came to 
Long Point, and lived with her brother Noah until her death, 
which occurred in 1847, in her 77th year. Noah Fairchild's 
family were victims of that dread destroyer of human life 

Robert Henderson came also from New Jersey, and was 
accompanied by his wife and son William. He received a 
grant of Lot 24, 3rd concession of Charlotteville, upon which 
he settled. It was here where the brood of chickens found a 
home, and it is hoped they developed into fine cockerels and 
pullets, and that the crowing heard at the break of day in the 
little clearing, where the smoke from the Henderson cabin 
ascended above the tree tops, was a warning to the denizens of 
the forest, not only of the dawn of day, but of the dawn of 
civilization in Long Point country. 

Robert Henderson was a son of " Auld Scotia." Of his 
forefathers nothing is known, save that his father's name was 
Alexander. Robert came to America in 1773, and settled in 
Essex County, New Jersey; and it is said that during the 
three years previous to his settling in America, his home was 
on the " briny deep." His great-grand daughter, Miss Elizabeth 


Matthews, of Woodhouse, has in her possession the old " bulls- 
eye" watch carried by him during those three years of marine 
service. If this rare old relic, which has not ticked for many 
long years, were endowed with speech, what wonderful tales it 
might tell of oceans crossed and ports visited. Miss Matthews 
has also a pair of spoon moulds and a flax spinning- wheel 
which wore landed at the mouth of Big Creek a hundred years 
ago with the faithful old hen and her chickens. 

Mrs. Henderson's maiden name was Elizabeth Beadle. In 
the Henderson family were one son, William ; and one daughter, 
Elizabeth, who married Isaac Toms, of New Jersey. A few 
years after the family came to Long Point, Mrs. Toms became 
a widow with three children, and in 1816 Mr. Henderson drove 
to New Jersey with a one-horse wagon and brought his 
widowed daughter and her children to his Charlotteville home. 
Mrs. Toms had a horse of her own, and the two were driven 
tandem on the return trip, which required twenty-one days for 
its completion. Albert Toms, a name well known in Norfolk, 
and one held in high esteem by the old people, was the name 
of one of those fatherless children that rode in Grandpa 
Henderson's one-horse wagon from Essex County, New Jersey, 
to their new home in Charlotteville. The names of the other 
two children were Isaac and Charlotte, the latter of whom 
became the wife of Adam Matthews. 

William Henderson, only son of Robert, married Janet 
Secord, and settled on a Government grant adjoining his 
father's land. He had six sons Robert, William, John, Free- 
man, James and Alexander; and six daughters Hannah, 
Elizabeth, Jane, Margaret, Martha and Matilda. By a sub- 
sequent marriage he had one son, Andrew ; and two daughters 
Janet and Margaret. One of these daughters married 
Richard Mead, proprietor of that old land-mark, " Mead's 
Tavern." Another daughter married William Roach, father of 
the well-known George Roach, of Hamilton. 

The descendants of this little band of pioneer Loyalists 
have become so numerous and so widely scattered that a 
numerical computation would be impossible. 



IN a lonely spot on the bank of Young's Creek, about a 
mile and a half north-west of Vittoria, may be seen the grave 
of a young mother that has been whitened by the snows of 
a hundred winters. The old mossy tombstone bears the 
following inscription : 





This young mother left two infant children Daniel, who 
became prominent in after life ; and Margaret, who became the 
wife of Aquila M. Walsh, The following lines are inscribed 
on the old slab, and are still quite legible : 

4 ' Weep not for me my children dear, 
I am not dead, but sleeping here, 
My days are past, my tomb you .see, 
Prepare for death, and lollow me." 

These " children dear " grew up to man's and woman's estate 
in the new settlement; married, raised families of their own, and 
then followed their mother to the silent abode of the dead. 
These grandchildren married, raised families of their own, and 
they, too, have mostly gone to join the mighty host swallowed 
up by death. And yet this girl mother is not dead, " but 
sleeping here." Ah, yes ; some sweet day she shall awake and 
meet her children, and all her children's children, who have 
given heed to the words of admonition inscribed on this old 
marble slab : " Prepare for death, and follow me." 


What mighty changes have taken place since this old grave 
was dug in the forest ! Why, it is said that Daniel, her first- 
born child after coming into the Long Point wilderness, was 
the first white child born in the township of Charlotte - 
ville. George Washington died comparatively a young man, 
and yet he was alive when this old grave was new. M ore than 
a hundred years ago this young mother came into the Norfolk 
wilderness with her brother's family and the family of her 
husband's parents, young, brave, and inspired with fond and 
glowing hopes for the new home that was to be erected in the 
new country ; but in two sjiort years and about four months 
her pioneer life ended, and she was laid to rest. 

The brush-entangled enclosure that contains this old grave 
is the old McCall-Fairchild family burying ground. The last 
burial in this old ground occurred in 1858, when Martha 
McCall, relict of the original John McCall, was laid to rest, 
having reached the ripe old age of ninety years. As one gazes 
at the grave of Jemima Fairchild-McCall, he is forcibly 
reminded by the prostrate trunk of a pine tree lying partially 
within the enclosure, of the many years that have come and 
gone since the grave was dug. This tree is about eighteen 
inches in diameter, and grew, no doubt, from a seed which took 
root in the mound directly above the breast of the sleeper. 
There it grew until it reached the size mentioned, when, owing 
to a disease of the heart, it became too weak to withstand the 
winds of adversity, and it fell to the earth. Its roots had 
penetrated the mould at the bottom of that grave, and now it 
must yield up its own mould to nourish other forms of life. 
There it lies, but how long it was after the grave was dug 
before that little seed germinated, no one knows. What a 
suitable place for serious meditation ! At the foot of the 
wooded bank the clear, cool waters of the stream flow past as 
they did a hundred years ago. Beyond lies the valley with its 
low-lying fields, and skirted on its opposite side by the railroad 
track. Off yonder are the church spires which mark the spot 
where staid, picturesque old Vittoria nestles among the trees ; 


and adjoining, in the rear, are old fields which have been tilled 
by many generations of the same family. All about are 
substantial homes provided with comforts and conveniences 
never dreamed of by our old pioneer forefathers when this old 
grave was new. 

But let us give the rein to our imagination, and call up the 
scene enacted on this spot a hundred years ago. It is a warm, 
hazy October day, and all nature is hushed. The grave has 
been dug and is ready to receive its dead. The pioneer who 
performed the task has gone home, and there is no one near 
except two or three Indians, who are sitting under the trees in 
idle but circumspect curiosity. We approach the grave and 
look in. The sides are uneven and irregular, and the mass of 
earth thrown out is mixed with chips and fragments of roots. 
While we await the coming of the burial party, we look 
about us. The murmur of the stream is louder and its volume 
greater. The valley beyond is covered with forest, and we look 
over the tree-tops into the dark line of forest trees that crowns 
the ridge beyond. It is forest in every direction, and the trees 
have a grander and more vigorous look. There are settlers 
here and there, and "slashings" varying in extent, but we 
cannot see any of them. The only signs of human habita- 
tions seen anywhere are two or three faint columns of smoke 
rising above the tree-tops. The dropping of chestnuts, the 
saucy chatter of squirrels in the overhanging branches, and 
the distant " click " of a settler's axe, are the only familiar 
sounds we hear. But, hark ! What jolting, rattling sound is 
that ? It is the jolting of a linch-pin wagon and one or two 
carts over the newly laid corduroy down in the flat. A span 
of horses is attached to the wagon, on which rests a rude 
coffin guarded by four settlers, who are walking, two on either 
side. The carts are drawn by oxen, and they are laden with 
women and children, some of whom have come a long distance 
through the woods. In the rear of the carts a small company 
of settlers follow on foot, and behind all are a few solemn- 
visaged Indians. The men converse in low tones, and the 


stillness of death hovers over the tree-tops. The click of 
the axe is hushed, and the handful of settlers have all come 
to the burial. It is the first time the grim messenger of death 
has taken a wife and mother from the settlement, and they all 
feel a personal bereavement. But they have reached the hill, 
and while the coffin is being taken from the wagon and carried 
to the grave, we will take a cursory glance at the individual 
members of this little company of pioneers. The younger 
women are clad in calico frocks and sunbonnets, while some 
of the older ones have donned their home-made flannel frocks 
and home- knit woollen hoods. Some of these frocks have been* 
worn two or three winters, and are good for two or three more 
winters. The flannel that many of them are made of was 
woven in the " Jarseys." We see more than one young fellow 
barefooted, but the most of them, of both sexes, wear tan- 
colored cowhide shoes made of home-tanned skins. The older 
men wear clothes that, evidently, have seen better days, and 
more than one home-made coon-skin cap is seen. The young 
men wear " hickory " shirts, and many of them are in their 
shirt-sleeves ; and the old men wear shirts made of the same 
"Jarsey" flannel that the women's frocks are made of. We see 
no collars and cuffs in that assembly. But we cannot pursue 
our observation further, for they have formed a circle around 
the open grave, and we will join them and bow our heads in 
reverence while the Church of England beautiful burial service 
is being read. And now the grave is filled, the little group of 
pioneers have dispersed, and the last one has disappeared among 
the trees and we are alone again. 

But we have been dreaming ! A hundred years have come 
and gone since this scene was enacted, and yet how real it has 
seemed ! But the ever-living Present is ours to improve to-day, 
and so we climb over the old rail fence, leaving the dead and 
buried past behind us ; but, somehow, we cannot quite shake off 
the words we have just heard : " Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, 
dust to dust." 




THE largest woman in all Long Point settlement was "Aunt 
Nancy" Smith. It is said that she weighed three hundred 
pounds, and that the only way she could pass through an 
ordinary door was by crowding through sideways. The chair 
used by her is in possession of one of her descendants, and is 
certainly an object of curiosity. Her maiden name was Nancy 
Morris, and she married Samuel Smith, son of the old U. E. 
Loyalist, Abraham Smith. Her husband was a most excellent 
man, and his name ought to be enrolled among the distin- 
guished personages of the early times in which he lived. 
Samuel Smith was noted for his unselfish nature and his 
many Christian graces. He settled on his U. E. Loyalist 
grant, being Lot 22, 5th concession of Charlotteville, and 
there he erected one of the purest Christian altars in the 
settlement. He was a man devoted to good works. He was 
never ordained to "rescue the perishing" by the formal "laying 
on of hands," but he preached the Gospel of salvation to his 
fellow -beings in all places and on all occasions by word of 
mouth and, which is far more effective, by his daily deport- 
ment. He was no " doctor " of divinity, but he was a minister 
of divinity in every sick room he visited. He never graduated 
in theology in some great school of learning, but he could tell 
" the old, old story " in the simple, old-fashioned way in which 
it was first told ; and if the language used was not faultless in 
diction or elegantly rich in phraseology, it came from an honest 
heart and was understood. After his boys were old enough to 
look after things at home, Mr. Smith spent a large portion of 


his time in going about the settlement doing good in various 
ways. No sick-bed escaped his visitation, and no destitute 
person failed to have a visit from " Uncle Sammy." He not 
only offered words of consolation and good cheer to the afflicted 
and the destitute, but he rendered substantial aid in so far as 
his means would permit. He was prudent and economical in 
his business affairs, believing that the accumulation of wealth 
which a man is permitted to make, and which it is his duty to 
make by honest industry, is simply held by him in trust to be 
used in the advancement of the cause of its rightful owner, 
the Author of our salvation and the great Giver of every good 
gift. Mr. Smith loved money for the good that it might enable 
him to do, and not for its own sake. He used to tell his chil- 
dren that the most valuable legacy he could leave them was 
that of a good name. He certainly did leave this legacy to 
them, and to-day his descendants are prouder of it than they 
would be if it had consisted of a colossal fortune and an 
unsavory reputation. 

Samuel Smith had four sons Abraham, David, Morris and 
Samuel ; and four daughters Mary, Rachel, Ruth and Nancy. 
He died in J850, at the age of seventy-three ; and Nancy, his 
wife, died in 1828, aged fifty- two. 

Abraham, eldest son of Samuel, married, but left no children. 

David Smith, second son of Samuel, died single. 

Morris Smith, third son of Samuel, did not take to farmino-. 
He had a predilection for a life behind the counter, and found 
a place in " Young's Store," Vittoria. Very few people are 
living to-day who were waited on by this young clerk. 
Nearly all the girls who used to visit " Young's Store '' and 
merrily chat with young Morris as he waited upon them, 
have entered the silent abodes of the dead. The few w r ho 
remain are wrinkled and grey, yet to them it seems but 
yesterday since Morris Smith tore off calico and weighed out 
salseratus for them in the old store at Vittoria. 

But Morris fell in love, as most all nice young clerks do, 
and married Miss Harriet Walsh, daughter of that old veteran 


Registrar of Deeds, Francis L. Walsh. He became a partner in 
the business which he entered as clerk, and settled in Vittoria. 
He had one son, Frank, who conducts a general store in Vittoria 
at present ; and two daughters Ella and Mary. All three are 
single, and live in the old homestead with their aged mother. 

Samuel Smith, youngest son of Samuel, married Catherine 
Seger, and succeeded to the homestead. He had two sons, Seger 
and Walter ; and one daughter, Nancy. Seger married Mary 
Short, and settled on part of the homestead ; Walter married 
Margaret Schuyler, and settled on part of the homestead ; 
and Nancy married Thomas Moore, who settled on part of 
the homestead also. 

Mary Smith, eldest daughter of the original Samuel, married 
Trion Treadwell, and settled at Aylrner, Elgin County, where 
she raised a family. 

Rachel iSinith, the second daughter, married Stephen Teeple, 
and settled in the township of Nissouri. She had several 

Ruth Smith, the third daughter, married Robert Young, 
and settled in Simcoe. She had no family. 

Nancy Smith, youngest daughter of Samuel, married Peter 
Young, the old Vittoria merchant. She had three sons 
Robert, Charles and Frank ; and three daughters, one of whom 
married James H. McCall, the Vittoria merchant ; another 
married W T illiam Wilson, of Simcoe ; and the third married 
Dr. J. B. Kennedy, of Detroit. Charles and Frank Young are 
in Vancouver, B.C., and Robert is a bachelor in Vittoria. 

Among the descendants of the original Samuel Smith, there 
are only three male Smiths of the third generation, and none 
in the fourth. 



CAPTAIN WILLIAM HUTCHINSON was one of Walsingham's 
j oiliest old U. E. Loyalist pioneers. At repartee he had no 
equal among them. If he was not an Irishman, he was certainly 
equal to one in the large vocabulary of witticisms which he 
was able to command at all times and on all occasions. He 
was a tobacco chewer, and on one occasion Squire Backhouse 
lectured him in court for it. The Squire was very much 
opposed to the habit, and he told Mr. Hutchinson that tobacco- 
chewing was a nasty, dirty, filthy habit, and that he ought to 
be ashamed of himself for indulging in it. " Yes," rejoined 
Hutchinson, " it is a n-a-s-t-y, d-i-r-t-y, fi-1-t-h-y habit, and I 
am ashamed of it, but, your honor, it is the only one of which 
you are not guilty." 

Captain Hutchinson's home was in New Jersey, that little 
state whence came so many of our old pioneers. When the 
war of the Revolution broke out he remained loyal, and 
allied himself with the British army and did some good work 
as a scout. His military services were varied ; and many 
stories are told of thrilling adventures and narrow escapes 
experienced by him during the war. On one occasion a 
scouting party to which he was attached was pressed into close 
quarters by a strong detachment of the rebel forces. Under 
the spur of the moment they secreted themselves in a clump 
of bushes, and the enemy passed so close to them that they 
could actually look into their faces and hear every word they 
uttered while passing. 

William Hutchinson was a widower at the close of the war, 


and in common with all the U. E. Loyalists, he found it neces- 
sary either to leave the country or swear allegiance to the new 
Republic. The latter he could never do, and so he fled to St. 
John, New Brunswick, where he married his second wife. In 
1798, he came to Long Point with his family, and settled in 
Walsingham, near the Hazen settlement. His family consisted 
of five sons Alexander, James, David, Joseph and George ; 
and three daughters Mary Jane, Elizabeth and Catherine. 

William Hutchinson was sworn in as a Justice of the Peace, 
and sat on the Bench as Associate Justice in the early years of 
the old Quarter Sessions at Turkey Point. He sat as Judge, or 
Chairman, pro tew, at a session during the June term, 1 804 ; 
and in March, 1809, he was elected Chairman of the Court, 
succeeding Thomas Walsh, Esq. In 1804, he was made 
Associate Justice for the Court of Request for Walsingham, 
and was reappointed for the same position in the following 

Alexander Hutchinson, the eldest son of William, was born 
in New Jersey, and was the sole issue of the first marriage. 
He married a daughter of John Backhouse, Esq., and settled in 
Walsingham. He had two sons John and George ; and one 
daughter, Maria, who married John Smith. Alexander broke 
himself down with hard work. 

In 1803, he was appointed Deputy Sheriff for London 
District. When the plans for the new Court-house at the 
town of Charlotteville (Turkey Point) were perfected in 
December, 1803, he put in a tender at 281 5. Od., but was under- 
bid by Job Loder. He was a prominent figure as Deputy 
Sheriff during the Court terms of the old Quarter Sessions at 
Turkey Point in 1803-4. 

James Hutchinson, second son of William, married Esther 
Backhouse, and settled near Port Burwell. He had three 
sons William, Alexander and Haley ; and one daughter, Jane. 

David Hutchinson, third son of William, married Rebecca, 
daughter of Noah Fairchild, of Charlotteville, and settled on 
Talbot Street, in Malahide. In this family were five sons 


William, Abial, Noah, Edwin and Lewis ; and one daughter, 
Elizabeth. The mother of this family has reached her 93rd 

Joseph Hutchinson fourth son of William, married Julia 
Henchett, and settled on the old homestead. He had one son, 
William ; and one daughter, Julia. Subsequently, Joseph 
settled at Fredericksburg, and lived to a ripe old age. 

George Hutchinson, fifth son of William, married Peggy 
Beard, and settled in Walsingham. Of this union there were 
six sons Thomas, James, Alfred, William, Edward and Albert. 

Mary Jane Hutchinson, eldest daughter of William, mar- 
ried Frederick Sovereign, the founder of Fredericksburg. Her 
children are enumerated in the Sovereign genealogy. This 
old pioneer mother was known far and wide as " Aunt Jane 
Sovereign,' and was noted for her generous hospitality and 
her quaint, off-hand manner of speech. She was an indefatig- 
able worker, and found rest in busy activity ; and to sit still 
for any length of time was misery to her. She was a regular 
attendant at church, and to sit in a pew for a solid hour and 
keep awake until the old-fashioned " fourthly " had dragged 
out its weary length, was a cross that she was not always able 
to bear. On one occasion during a " protracted meetin' " the 
sermon had been unusually long, and when the "conference" 
exercises began " Aunt Jane " stood up, but said nothing. The 
kind-hearted pastor, divining that some great trouble was 
weighing upon her mind, called her by name and offered words 
of encouragement. " Oh !" exclaimed " Aunt Jane," as she 
looked up with arms akimbo, '' I've just stood up to rest my 
hips abit." As these lines are being written an old familiar 
scene presents itself. In my mind's eye I see the old fire-place 
aglow once more with its flickering flame. In it I see the old 
crane, and once again I hear the sputtering of the old iron tea- 
kettle. In front stands the bent form of a dear old familiar 
figure. With arms akimbo, she looks into the glowing coals for 
a moment while the ashes from the inverted bowl of her clay 
pipe drops upon the old hearth. For a brief moment I turn 


aside to catch a glimpse of some other passing scene, and when 
I look again, behold, all is changed ! Was it only a phantom ? 
Verily so. The old chimney is dark, damp and musty ; the 
old hearth has caved in and the old crane lies buried in the 
dust. The old tea-kettle has yielded up its form and the 
elements of which it was composed have been incorporated into 
other and newer forms, and in the village cemetery I see a 
granite column whereon is engraved these lines : " Mary Jane, 
wife of Frederick Sovereign, died April 16th, 1868, aged 76 
years, 2 months and 25 days. 

Elizabeth and Catherine Hutchinson, the two youngest 
daughters, married, respectively, James McKinna, and Daniel 
McKinna. Both settled in Illinois. 

Captain William Hutchinson was one of Walsingham's 
most distinguished pioneers. He had a large circle of acquaint- 
ances and a host of warm personal friends. His good-fellow- 
ship was the natural out-flow of his warm genial nature. 
Captain Hutchinson knew how to entertain a friend, and he 
was the champion story-teller of the settlement. In business 
matters he was prompt and straightforward, and his word was 
as good as his bond. Had he craved political honors his rare 
popularity would have paved the way. 



PLANTS of the same genus, and even of the same species, 
when planted in different places and under varying conditions, 
show widely differing degrees of growth and vitality. Plants 
of the same species may be taken from different places and 
transplanted side by side in some new place, and although 
influenced by the same surroundings and subject to the same 
conditions of development, some will take on a vigorous growth, 
others will barely maintain their own existence, while others, 
still, will die out entirely. Similar effects are observed in the 
growth and development of the human family. In the settle- 
ment of a new country the pioneer stock comes from a great 
variety of places, and the social conditions, tastes, habits, 
manners and customs of these various places differ from each 
other. When these various plants of the human family are 
transplanted side by side in the virgin soil of a new country, 
where all become subject to new conditions, some will take 
root readily and multiply rapidly, while others throw out 
branches very sparingly, and after a time some will entirely 
disappear. Indeed, sometimes we find that branches of old 
families coming from the same place have been reversed in 
their multiplying tendencies, by thus being transplanted in a 
new country. As an example of the working of these natural 
laws, the Oaks family presents a good illustration. In the 
section of New Brunswick, whence they came, the name was 
scarcely known ; but when the stock was transplanted into the 
virgin soil of old Charlotteville, it took root and grew at a 
marvellous rate. To-day the name of Oaks occupies more 


space on the township voter's list than any other name. Of 
course, the voter's list, per se, is no certain guide as to the 
numerical strength of the descendants of our old families, as 
some of them inherited a roaming disposition, and while they 
may have become numerous the fact of their being so is not 
apparent. The Oaks family are not possessed of a roaming 
disposition. They do not wander far from the parental roof, 
and the fact that they have become numerous is thus made 
doubly apparent. Some families who came earlier than they, 
and in larger numbers, have become nearly extinct, not only in 
Norfolk but elsewhere. 

Captain John Oaks was a sea-faring man, and his family 
saw but little of him. Two or three times a year he returned 
to his own port and visited his New Brunswick home, but 
these visits were of short duration. He died with smallpox 
contracted on board ship while homeward bound, just one 
month before his youngest child was born. He left three sons 
and one daughter, who grew up and married in New Brunswick. 

In 1804 two of these sons James and Benjamin, with their 
families, came to Long Point and settled in the south-east 
corner of Charlotteville. Shortly after the third brother, 
Christopher, came with his family and settled a little west of 
his brothers on land purchased from the Mitchells. There was 
a sister, Sarah, who married Daniel Youmans in New Bruns- 
wick, and she and her family also came to the settlement. 

James Oaks had four sons James, Bradford, George R. 
and Hammond ; and seven daughters Annie, Fanny, Hannah, 
Elizabeth, Charlotte, Caroline and Rachel. 

James Oaks, eldest son of James, married Mary Ann 
Dowlin, settled near Normandale and had two daughters 
Mary Jane and Emoline. Subsequently, he married Annie 
Burlingham, by whom he had two sons James and William 
Henry ; and five daughters Elizabeth, Delilah, Melvina, 
Annie and Fanny. 

Bradford Oaks, second son of James, married Mary Bur- 
lingham, settled on Lot 23, 2nd concession of Charlotteville, and 

o ' * ' 

had one son, Elisha, who at present occupies the homestead. 


George R. Oaks, third son of James, married Eliza Burling- 
ham, settled near Vittoria, and had one son, Hammond, and 
one daughter, Rachel. Subsequently, he married Mary Jane 
Bates, of Rochester, by whom he had two sons George G. and 
Walter; and five daughters Mary Jane, Eliza Ann, Emma, 
Arsula and Minnie. 

Hammond Oaks, fourth son of James, married Isabel 
Phillips, settled on Lot 24, lake front, and had seven sons 
George, Bradford, Samuel, James, John, Hammond and Edward; 
and two daughters Rachel and Caroline. 

Of the daughters of James Oaks, ANNA married Henry 
Williams, and settled in Southhold. FANNY became the second 
wife of ' ; Uncle Billy " Smith, the pioneer athlete. HANNAH 
married Jasper Underbill, and settled in Walpole. ELIZABETH 
and RACHEL married, respectively, M. S. Dolan and Asa W. 
Steves, and settled in Vittoria. CHARLOTTE and CAROLINE 
married, respectively, Christopher Youmans and James You- 
mans, and settled at Normandale. 

Benjamin Oaks, the old pioneer brother, married Mary 
Jewell in New Brunswick. He had five sons William, John, 
Benjamin, Charles and Reuben; and five daughters Maria, 
Jane, Rebecca Ann, Emoline and Fidelia. All these sons died 
single except Benjamin, who married Jane Deace and settled 
near the old home. MARIA and JANE married, respectively, 
Hiram McDonell and Charles Murphy, and settled in Char- 
lotteville. REBECCA ANX married James Van Brooklyn and 
settled at Normandale. EMOLINE and FIDELIA remain single. 

Christopher Oaks, the third pioneer brother, married Free- 
love Simmons, in New Brunswick, in 1802. He was one of the 
early Long Point blacksmiths. At first he settled on fifty 
acres near his brothers. Here he worked at his trade, and 
many a nail made by him is still in use holding together some 
of Charlotteville's oldest buildings, while the men for whom 
they were made have long since passed away. This old 
pioneer was at the battle of Lundy's Lane, in Captain (Judge) 
Mitchell's company. He had four sons William S., Richard, 


Christopher and Hanford ; and eight daughters Elizabeth, 
Unce, Ann, Jane, Mary, Emmer, Freelove and Winifred, who 
married, respectively, McDonald, Olive, Lloyd, Jewell, Stover, 
Price, Carroll and Mabee. He died in 1847 in his 7 1st year, 
and his wife died in 1851, in her 66th year. 

William S. Oaks, son of Christopher, married Sarah Powell, 
and settled in Windham. He had one son, Powell, who settled 
in the States ; and one daughter, Eliza, who married Edward 
R. Shane. 

Christopher, son of Christopher, never married. 

Hanford Oaks, son of Christopher, married Rebecca Ann 
Anderson and settled on Lot 15, 2nd concession of Charlotte - 
ville. He had four sons Lewis, Henry, Walter and John ; 
and two daughters Sarah and Anna. 

The Oaks family is noted for quiet, unobtrusive manners, 
and warm attachment to home interests, 



THE name of Forse sounds more familiar to the old people 
of Norfolk than it does to the young people. It is one of 
many names we often hear mentioned by the old folks when 
they talk of life and times in their younger days, but which 
has become nearly extinct at the present time. Philip Forse 
was an early settler in Windham. When he built his log- 
house on or near the spot where the fine Widner residence now 
stands, on Lot 1, 13th concession, there were no settlers in 
Windham, except the Culvers and a few other families in the 
Colborne settlement. 

The Forses are of Dutch descent, and, it is said by the oldest 
living members, that the father of Philip, with his four sons 
Philip, William, Peter and John migrated from New Jersey to 
New Brunswick, and thence to Upper Canada. This makes it 
appear as though they had been U. E. Loyalists, but there 
seems to be nothing definite to show that such was the case. 

Philip Forse came first. He was married in New Bruns- 
wick. He settled first on Lot 1, 1st concession of Woodhouse, 
and it was he who donated land for the first public burying 
ground in the settlement, being the older portion of the old 
Woodhouse Methodist grounds. About the beginning of the 
century he sold his Woodhouse land and settled in Windham, 
where he lived the remainder of his long life. He was a quiet, 
industrious and honorable man, and highly respected by his 
fellow pioneers. The late Duke Campbell, while speaking of 
his business integrity, said that his word was as good as his 
bond. Mr. Forse reached an extreme old age, being ninety-four 
years old when he died. He left no children. 


William Forse came several years later, and settled in 
Windham on " Buckwheat Street," as it was called. He had 
five sons Michael, William, Philip, John and George ; and 
four daughters Ann, Eliza, Mary and Margaret. Michael and 
Ann were born in New Brunswick. 

Michael Forse, son of William, married Rebecca Jewell, and 
settled at first in Burford, and subsequently, in Vittoria, where 
he died. 

William Forse, son of William, married Amy Forse, and 
settled on the homestead in Windham, where he died. He had 
five sons Charles, Henry, Edward, George and William ; and 
three daughters Amanda, Isabel and Henrietta. 

Philip Forse, son of William, married Drusilla Boughner, 
and had no children. 

John Forse, son of William, was a captain in the militia. 
All the older people will remember the old hotel in Simcoe 
kept by him, and known as " Forse's Tavern." Captain Forse 
died a bachelor. 

George Forse, son of William, married Maria, daughter of 
Jacob Powell, and settled near the homestead. He had four 
sons Edward, Henry, George and John ; and three daughters 
Mary Jane, Theresa and Caroline. The family are nearly 
all gone ; but the father is living, having reached his 85th 

Of the daughters of William Forse, ANNA married Samuel 
Fisher after she was fifty-six years old. She died within one 
week after her marriage. MARY married John Edison, and 
settled in Bayham. She left no children. MARGARET married 
Amos King, and settled at the Rondeau. 

Peter Forse came in 1830, and brought the old folks with 
him. They settled in Windham also. Peter had three sons 
Philip, John and George ; and three daughters, who came here 
Amy, Catherine and Hannah. His father, Peter Forse, died 
in 1849, in his 82nd year. 

Philip Forse, eldest son of Peter, married Sarah Charlotte, 
daughter of John Tisdale, and settled in Windham. He had 


three sons Nelson, Thomas H. and John H. ; and three 
daughters Maria, Helen and Margaret. 

JOHN, second son of Peter, died single., 

George Forse, third son of Peter, married Eliza, daughter 
of Captain John Robins, and settled on the homestead in 
Windham. He had four sons Edward, George, Charles and 
John ; and three daughters Emily, Elizabeth and Rhoda. 
Five out of this family died with smallpox. 

The daughters of Peter Forse AMY, CATHERINE and 
HANNAH married, respectively, William Forse, William Millard 
and Louis Laings. 

Philip Forse, son of Peter, was a ship carpenter, and many 
old people will remember with pleasure the various novelties, 
by way of miniature ships, which he made during his spare 
moments and presented to his young friends, who took pride 
in exhibiting them in various public places. 

In the Forse family we have a peculiar case of religious 
mania. The subject was John, son of Peter, the one mentioned 
as having died single. When a mere child he was religiously 
inclined. He grew up physically weak and exceedingly 
taciturn in disposition. His mania took the form of walking 
to church regularly. It was nine miles from his home on 
" Buckwheat Street " to St. John's church in Woodhouse, and 
doubling this distance it made a walk of eighteen miles every 
time he attended church. John Forse got it into his head that 
God had called him to perform this special duty, and for nine 
years he performed it. It is said that he never missed a 
Sunday during all this time. Through blinding snowstorms 
and in the drenching rain went John Forse, and always on foot. 
So regular was he in his church-going that people watched for 
him along the way, and his appearance, like the ringing of a 
church bell, was accepted by them as a monitor in the regula- 
tion of time. 



IT is just one hundred years since James McMichael, a 
native of "auld Ayrshire," came to the New World to take 
advantage of the grand opportunities which at that time were 
so abundant and so varied for the acquisition of homes and the 
accumulation of wealth. He was born in 1772, and was, there- 
fore, twenty-five years old when he came to America. He was 
the second son of George McMichael, and had two brothers 
one older and one younger than himself. The name of the 
elder was John, and that of the younger, George; and their 
mother's maiden name was Veronica Murdar. They had a 
sister Marion, who married Francis Cooper. It is said that 
James McMichael was the great-grandson of a brother of 
Alexander Peden, the old prophet in the days of the Cov- 

James McMichael came to Pennsylvania, and after the 
township of Townsend was surveyed he came to Norfolk and 
purchased 400 acres of land, 200 of which, being Lot 9 in the 
6th concession, is the old McMichael homestead, known at 
present as " Maple Avenue," the silver-medal model farm of 
Norfolk County. 

James McMichael was a man of keen, shrewd business sense, 
and he knew that these lands would rapidly increase in value 
as the new settlement developed. At the time he made his pur- 
chase other lands lying nearer the settlement might have been 
purchased as cheaply ; but this advantage of location was not a 
matter of consideration with Mr. McMichael when he chose his 
lands. He did not buy for immediate settlement, and he knew 


that in a few years the lands adjoining his own would be occu- 
pied and improved. Timber, at that time, possessed no com- 
mercial value, being looked upon as an impediment in the way 
of settling. The larger number of the incoming settlers chose, 
therefore, the lighter timbered lands, which offered less resist- 
ance in the work of reclaiming the soil. This was another so- 
considered advantage which counted for nothing in the better 
judgment of Mr. McMichael. He realized the fact that the soil 
which produced a large, thrifty and dense growth of timber 
would have the right kind of stuff in its composition for a 
vigorous growth of grass, cereals and fruit-bearing trees, and 
he knew that the time was not far distant when the timber 
itself would become a source of revenue. White pine, rock elm, 
white ash, walnut and other varieties of timber might tower 
up as giant monopolists of the land, bidding defiance to the 
log-cabin builders in their enforced haste to reach the virgin 
soil ; but the time would soon come when these giants of the 
forest would be endowed with a commercial value. Further- 
more, this particular lot possessed natural . topographical ad- 
vantages which may or may not have been recognized by 
Mr. McMichael when he decided upon its purchase. " Maple 
Avenue " possesses rich, low-lying meadow lands and loamy, 
gravelly uplands in proper proportions, to make it one of the 
most valuable farms in Ontario for a mixed husbandry, being 
adapted to stock-raising, fruit- culture and the production of 
grain. These natural advantages have been followed up and 
developed to a marked degree by the present owner. 

After making his purchase, Mr. McMichael returned to Penn- 
sylvania, where he joined his brother George, who had come 
to America, and the two purchased a farm in that State. Soon 
after, Mr. McMichael married Rosannia, daughter of Isaac 
Derrnott, whose father had emigrated from Holland in 1750. 
After living on this farm for about twenty years, a serious 
flaw was discovered in the title, of so hopeless a nature that 
James concluded to abandon his interest in it and commence 
anew on his Canada land. 


The original log-cabin of James McMichael was built near 
the spot where the palatial residence of his grandson, Joseph K., 
now stands. But his pioneer life in old Townsend was of short 
duration. Like the distinguished Edward McMichael, of Wal- 
singham, he was cut down just as his fellow-pioneers began to 
admire his sterling qualities, and, like that old pioneer, left a 
widow and ten children to occupy his log-cabin and mourn his 
untimely end in a new country, far from home and among 

James McMichael left nine sons George, Richard, John, 
James, Jacob, David, Isaac, William and Aaron ; and one 
daughter Mary. The daughter was the eldest child. She 
married William Parney ; her children are enumerated in the 
Parney genealogy. 

George McMichael, eldest son of James, married Jane, 
daughter of Deacon Joseph Kitchen, of Charlotteville. He 
settled on the homestead, and by this marriage had two sons 
Joseph K. and Oscar; and one daughter Malinda. By a 
subsequent marriage he had one daughter Emma Jane. He 
was a shrewd business man, and improved the homestead and 
accumulated wealth. In 1856 he was cut down in the prime 
of life, at the age of fifty-one years. Oscar died young, and 
Joseph K. succeeded to the homestead. 

Richard McMichael, second son of James, married Mahala, 
daughter of Ezra Parney, and settled on land adjoining the 
homestead. Among the grand old men whose names are 
recorded in the list of Norfolk's latter-day pioneers, the name 
of Richard McMichael will always occupy a place in the first 
column. He was one of nature's noblemen. He was large in 
stature, large in intellect, and large in good deeds. He was 
broad-minded and whole-souled, and his formulated opinions 
on all the leading social, political and religious questions of 
his day were moderate in tone and liberal in judgment. He 
was generous, hospitable and exceedingly popular. He did 
not crave office, but when it was thrust upon him as a duty, 
and he saw it in the light of duty, he never shirked it. For 


about fifteen years he served in the Township and County 
Councils, and during sixty years of his life he officiated as 
deacon in the Boston and Waterford Baptist churches. For 
years he led the political party of his choice as the President 
of its organized association in the riding, and in this and 
every other capacity he won the esteem and confidence of all 
with whom he came in contact. When his golden wedding 
was celebrated his nine children were all present, making it 
an event of unusual occurrence He died in 1889, in his 
eighty- third year. He left 
four sons James, Jona- 
than, Alexander and Cal- 
vin; and five daughters 
Letitia, Charity, Elizabeth, 
Josephine and Orpha. 
Alexander and Calvin suc- 
ceeded to the old home- 

John Me Michael, third 
son of James, married 
Matilda Murray, and set- 
tled in Dumfries where he 
raised a large family. 

James Me Michael, 
fourth son of James, was 
married three times. He 
settled in Brantford, and raised a large family. 

Jacob McMichael, fifth son of James, married Lavinia, 
daughter of Simon Mabee, and settled on Lot 13, 5th conces- 
sion of Townsencl. This latter-day pioneer proved himself a 
worthy brother of Richard McMichael, and much that has been 
written of the latter will apply to Jacob as well. He was 
upright and honorable in all the busy activities of his life, and 
he left a record behind him of which his children may proudly 
boast. He was a model farmer and figured prominently in the 
various agricultural societies. For many years he officiated as 



deacon in the old Boston Baptist church. He died at a ripe old 
age, leaving ten sons Simon, Lafayette, James, David, Aaron, 
Hezekiah, Jacob, Homer, Arkell and Orvell ; and two daughters 
Abigail and Mary. Of this family three are doctors in New 
York City, one is a doctor in Chicago, one a Baptist preacher 
in New York State, and one is an artist and another a merchant 
in the city of Buffalo. 

David McMichael, sixth son of James, married Jane 
McBride, and settled at Palermo, below Hamilton. 

Isaac McMichael, seventh son of James, married Calista 
Truax, and settled in Hamilton. 

William McMichael, eighth son of James, married Mrs. 
William Cunningham nee Martha Kern, and settled near 
Boston. Subsequently, he settled in Waterford, where he 
died. He was a close economizer, and accumulated wealth. He 
had four sons Oscar, Walter, Romaine and Albert ; and two 
daughters Mary and Valdora. Albert and Valdora occupy 
the fine old Waterford home with their aged mother. 

Aaron McMichael, youngest son of James, married Emily 
McMichael, and settled just north of Waterford, where he 
established a fine home. He is remembered by the old 
people as a " hale fellow well met," and known as " McMichael, 
the Dentist." He had three sons Solon, George and Herbert ; 
and one daughter, Ida. Solon holds a prominent Government 
position at present, being Inspector of Customs for the 

When James McMichael looked upon his native heath in 
" Auld Scotia r ' for the last time, his proud ambition no doubt 
drew heavily upon his imagination as to what the future held 
in reserve for him. He was going to the New World to hew- 
out a home for himself. What would be the result ? Would 
he succeed in the founding of a home, and would sons and 
daughters go out from that home who would " rise up and call 
him blessed," and so stamp his name upon the plastic institu- 
tions of the new land as to command respect and admiration 
for his name ? 


Many years have come and gone since the name of James 
McMichael was recorded among the soil reclaimers of "glorious 
old Norfolk," and the family record has become a part of the 
century's history. If James McMichael and many others of 
our brave old pioneers might be permitted to see the wonderful 
transformation which has been brought about in one short 
century, as a result of their moral and material pioneer work, 
they would retire to their well-earned rest feeling fully com- 
pensated for the privations they suffered and the sacrifices 
they made. When James McMichael came to America he 
brought something with him far more valuable in the work of 
national foundation-laying than a brave heart and a stout pair 
of arms, he brought inherent principles of individual character, 
which he transmitted to his posterity, and which show a 
tendency to increased strength as the generations succeed each 
other. Summed up, these principles are : Reverence for God 
and sacred things; love of home, and a rigid observance of 
law and order. 

Joseph K. McMichael is not only the owner of a model 
farm, but he is a model citizen. Of course he is a model 
farmer, but like many other men he might be this and not be 
a model citizen. In the three grand duties of citizenship he is 
equally prominent, namely, religious, social and political. As 
a business man he is prompt, upright and economical. As a 
a farmer, he is stock-raiser, grain producer and fruit grower ; 
and in architectural arrangement and arboricultural designs he 
is an artist. Under his guiding hand and watchful eye, 
" Maple Avenue" has become one of the most beautiful rural 
homes in Ontario. 



WHEN" the present century had commenced to reel off the 
second decade, a man living somewhere near Ancaster received 
a call to preach the Gospel. This man's name was Bates. The 
" old settlers " believe that he received a call to preach, but 
they do not pretend to know just how the " call " was com- 
municated to him, or by what means he was made cognizant of 
it. It is better so ; for if the particulars were known it is 
more than probable that the foundation would not be suffi- 
ciently strong to hold up the story. Suffice it to say this man 
Bates received a communication in some miraculous manner 
commanding him to preach, and that he positively refused to 
obey the divine edict. Just why he refused is another item of 
information the " oldest settler " cannot furnish. It may be 
that Mr. Bates considered it a case of mistaken identity, sup- 
posing it to be intended for some other Bates, or for some man 
who resembled a Bates ; but, whatever the reason may have 
been, it is said he refused to obey the call. There was no 
whale in the woods of Upper Canada to swallow him for his 
disobedience ; and as he did not run away from duty and go to 
sea like Jonah of old, he escaped the whale. But he did not 
escape punishment. If he would not preach when he was 
awake, he would be compelled to preach when he was asleep. 
While awake he was master of the situation, and might lead 
his thoughts into by and forbidden channels if he so willed ; 
but when consciousness was lost in sleep, his mind, not being 
subject to his own will, was let out for " recess " to roam and 
wander in a state of freedom. When awake it was his 


privilege to govern his vocal organs with an iron hand, com- 
manding and enforcing silence when and where he would, but 
when will was led captive by the tyrant Morpheus, his tongue 
was at liberty to give, expression to whatever was impressed 
upon his mind. It was a sort of warfare between body and 
spirit. During the hours of wakefulness the body held the 
mastery ; but during the hours of sleep, when the nerve centres 
were at rest the muscles relaxed, and all the physical forces 
dormant, the spiritual part asserted itself, acting on the mental 
faculties and compelling the vocal organs to give audible 
expression to words which he refused to utter when in con- 
scious wakefulness. That part of man which dies not is never 
at rest; and thus while we snore in utter unconsciousness of 
our mortal existence, we behold strange sights and hear 
wonderful sounds, and sometimes our vocal organs are 
constrained to give expression to these mysterious mental 

The old people looked upon this strange sleep-preaching as a 
judgment on Mr. Bates for his disobedience. The}^ saw the 
hand of Providence in it. Indeed, in our grandfathers' days, 
every strange, unusual thing that happened was looked upon 
as a special act of Providence. If a settler did anything toward 
saving his crop on a Sunday, and the act was followed by some 
unfortunate event, it was interpreted as a direct judgment from 
heaven. They did not realize the fact that the rains descended 
on the just and unjust alike, although they saw, or might have 
seen, a clear demonstration of its truthfulness all around them 
in the daily phenomena of life. 

When it became known that Mr. Bates preached in his 
sleep he was induced to travel about the country from one 
neighborhood to another, in order that the people might hear 
him preach, and it will not be doing our worthy old pioneers 
any injustice to slightly intimate that it was a motive of curi- 
osity that brought them together to hear this strange preacher. 
People came to hear him who seldom went to hear a sensible 
preacher, but this man who knew not what he was talking 



about, drew the multitude after him, and his fame went out 
through all Niagara and the region round about Long 
Point. In 1813 a meeting was held in the palatial log-house 
of the old soldier pioneer, Donald McCall. The old log-house 
was thirty feet long and stood a little west of the spot now 
occupied by the brick residence of John McCall, on the north 
end of Lot 18, 4th concession of Charlotte ville. About thirty 
settlers attended this meeting, among whom were, Oliver Ma- 
bee, Richard Lanning, Abraham Smith, Elder Finch, Titus 
Finch, Josiah Cromwell, Levi Churchill, Frederick and Jacob 
Sovereign, and " Uncle Billy " Smith. There was one person 
at the meeting w r ho was young in years, and he is the sole sur- 
vivor of that assemblage. He was only eight years old, yet 
his young shoulders supported an old head, as his after life has 
clearly demonstrated the name of that boy was Simpson 

Of course, Mr. Eates had gone to bed and was sound asleep 
when the congregation assembled. Unlike other preachers, he 
did not observe regular hours, and his congregation never knew 
when services were to begin whether at early candle-light, at 
midnight, or, as sometimes happened, not at all. On this occa- 
sion, however, the sleeper began to groan an invariable pre- 
liminary to the opening exercises about one o'clock in the 
morning. After the groaning ceased, the somnambulistic 
preacher repeated the Lord's prayer, after which he announced 
his text, and preached a fifteen- minute sermon. 

A few nights after this a meeting was held at another place in 
the settlement, but it proved a dismal failure, notwithstanding 
the fact that the sleeping evangelist was prodded with pins and 
reminded in other ways of his duty. On the other hand, a 
meeting held in Woodhouse soon after was a "howling" success, 
as the worldly-minded would express it nowadays. The suc- 
cessful meetings averaged about two a week. Nothing is 
known of Mr. Bates' family connections. 




THE historical data embodied in this family sketch was 
taken from an article published in the Brooklyn Eagle and is, 
no doubt, correct. By this showing, the Rapeljes, of Norfolk 
are enabled to trace their ancestors back to a remote period in 
American history. We are told that George Jansen de Rapelje 
was the leader of the Walloon families that settled at the 
Wallabout on Long Island, and that to him was born Sarah 
Jansen de Rapelje, the first white child born in New Nether- 
lands, as New York was first called by the Dutch. Governor 
Minuet signalized the event by presenting her his ground brief 
to twenty morgens of land (about forty acres). George had 
two brothers who came to America with him Antonie Jansen 
de Rapelje, and William Jansen de Rapelje, the latter of whom 
died childless. From some caprice not explained, the descend- 
ants of George dropped the de Rapelje and retained Jansen as 
their surname, which in time became Johnson, George being 
the great ancestor of Jere Johnson, jun., of historical fame. The 
descendants of Antonie de Rapelje dropped the Jansen de, re- 
taining the Rapelje, and they are the Rapeljes and Rapelyeas 
as we now have them. Antonie bought a two-hundred-acre 
tract of land at Gravesend, which was known as " Anthony 
Rapelje's Bowery," long after the English conquest. He was 
represented as a man of unusual stature, with the strength of 
a Hercules. 

The specie loaning scheme so successfully worked by Major 
Wyckoff during the war of the Revolution, originated with 


one Barent Johnson, a descendant of George Jansen de Rapelje, 
and the great-grandfather of Jere Johnson, jun. He was a firm 
patriot, and had two American officers quartered on him on 
parole. When they were exchanged, Mr. Johnson furnished 
each with large sums of money to be carried without the 
enemy's lines and paid over to Governor Clinton. The Governor, 
quick to avail himself of the opportunity thus presented for 
obtaining sound money for the State from the Whigs of the 
West-end of Long Island, appointed Major Hendrick WyckofF 
to manage the business in the manner described in the sketch 
devoted to the Wyckoffk Barent Johnson-Rapelje was a 
man of wealth for those times. The amount he loaned the 
State was $5,500, a sum equal to $50,000 in our times. These 
loans were made in specie and were so repaid by the State 
after the war. One George Martense, a neighbor of Barent 
Johnson, loaned the State a considerable sum of money in this 
way, and when the note was redeemed by the State, Mr. Mar- 
tense went to New York with a cart for his money. The pay- 
ment was made in silver specie, and the bulk completely filled 
the cart. 

The Rapeljes, of Norfolk, are credited with being a proud- 
spirited people. This is not to be wondered at when it is 
remembered that the blood of the Jansen de Rapeljes and the 
Wyckoffs, of Long Island, course through their veins. 

Abraham A. Rapelje, the old Long Point pioneer, was born 
on Long Island in 1776, the year the colonies declared their 
independence. He did not settle on the old homestead near 
Vittoria until after the war of 1812. He lived in the vicinity 
of Port Dover, and when the war broke out he raised a company 
of " Incorporates," and led them in fighting the battles of his 
adopted country, winning for himself a reputation especially 
at Lundy's Lane that distinguished him among the old pion- 
eers. It is said he was entitled to 500 acres of land for his war 
services, but neglected to take the necessary steps to secure it, 
and was finally obliged to accept Government scrip in lieu 
thereof, computed on a basis of eighty cents per acre. He 


purchased a hundred acres of land with a portion of this scrip 
and sold the balance to James Covirigton, Esq. As a further 
consideration for his war services his name was placed on the 
half-pay list by the home government, and during the remain- 
der of his life drew the sum of $400 annually. 

Mr. Rapelje succeeded Colonel John Bostwick as Sheriff of 
London District. He settled on Lot 19, in the 3rd concession 
of Charlotte ville, and built a fine residence thereon, which was 
destroyed some years later by fire. He died in 1841, in his 
66th year, and was followed to the grave by a large number of 
sorrowing friends. 

Colonel Rapelje had a family of thirteen children, but those 
who grew up and married were four sons Peter Wyckoff, 
Henry, Richard and Abraham B. and four daughters Cynthia, 
Helen, Winifred and Elizabeth. 

Peter Wyckoff Rapelje, eldest son of the Colonel, was a 
lawyer. He lived and died in Vittoria. He married Sarah 
Ann, daughter of Colonel Potts, and had two sons John and 
Arthur; and three daughters Sarah, Helen and Clara. 
SARAH married Isaac K. Taylor, who occupied the old Rapelje 
homestead for many years, and the sons settled in the States. 

Henry Rapelje, second son of the Colonel, married into the 
Fraser family, and settled in Simcoe. He had one son, 
Clarence C. ; and three daughters Minnie, Maude and May. 
CLARENCE C. is clerk of the County Court and Registrar of the 
Surrogate Court at the present time. Henry Rapelje served as 
Deputy Sheriff under his father, and when Norfolk was set off' 
old London District in 1836, as Talbot District, he was ap- 
pointed Sheriff for the new District, holding the position until 
he vacated it in favor of Mr. Mercer, for a valuable considera- 
tion. The transaction was deemed irregular, and Mercer was 

Richard Rapelje, third son of the Colonel, married Henrietta, 
sister of Dr. Mclnnes, of Vittoria. He died soon after, leaving 
no children. 

Abraham B. Rapelje, youngest son of the Colonel, married 


Anna Thompson, and settled in Simcoe. He held clerical 
positions at the county seat and was succeeded as Registrar of 
the Surrogate Court by his nephew, C. C. Rapelje. He had 
one son, McGregor, and two daughters Sarah and Anna. 

Cynthia Rapelje, the old Colonel's eldest daughter, married 
William Jewell, as stated in the Jewell genealogy. 

Helen Rapelje, the second daughter, married Duncan 
McGregor, and settled in the township of Shedden. 

Winifred Rapelje, the third daughter, married Quintin 
Barrett, one of the old-time store-keepers of Vittoria, who died 
soon after his marriage. Subsequently she married Charles 
Perley, and settled in Burford. She is living, the sole survivor 
of her generation, and childless. 

Elizabeth Rapelje, youngest daughter of the Colonel, 
married Alexander, son of Captain McNeilledge, the old county 
parliamentary representative. They settled near Port Dover, 
and had two sons Colin and Rapelje. 

In 1819 or 1820, the pioneer mother of the Rapelje family 
went home to Long Island to visit her mother. The journey 
was made with a horse and buggy, and it took three weeks to 
complete the drive from Vittoria to Flatland's Neck. Her son, 
Abraham, fifteen years old, and her eight-months old infant 
daughter, Elizabeth, accompanied her. Mrs. Rapelje was a 
courageous, resolute woman, and the drive was made each way 
without serious mishap ; but the occupants of the old Dutch 
home were thrilled with oft-repeated stories of bears and 
wolves encountered in the wilds of the new country. 



ONE of the oldest houses in the State of New York stands 
on Long Island, about six miles from Fulton Street ferry, 
Brooklyn, at a point known as Flatlands' Neck. It was built 
in 1664, and is pratically the same now as when built. The 
brick used in building the chimneys, fireplaces and side lining, 
and the shingles of best white cedar for roofs and siding, were 
imported from Holland. The roof shingles were not removed 
until 1890, when they were replaced with a tin roofing, and 
previous to 1819 no lath or plaster was ever put on the walls. 
The dining-room has never been plastered or painted. The 
oak beams and flooring is the only ceiling, and from long wear, 
smoke from log fires and Dutch pipes, it long since assumed the 
color of walnut. The rooms are strongly suggestive of Dutch 
comfort and hospitality. The old house was built two hundred 
and thirty- two years ago, and has never passed out of the 
hands of the family. The present occupants are in possession 
of many choice old heirlooms, reminders of a time when pewter 
mugs for tea drinking, and pewter plates, eighteen inches in 
diameter and weighing several pounds, were in ordinary use as 
table utensils. In revolutionary times a large number of these 
quaint old table pieces were cast into bullets for the army. 
Four rods south of the house some trees mark the spot where 
two English spies were hanged before the American army was 
driven off Long Island. Originally, the estate was much 
larger than at present. It now consists of fifty-six acres and 
belongs to the estate of the late John Wyckoff, who died six 
years ago. Sarah Wyckoff, a sister of John Wyckoff, married 


Abraham A. Rapelje, also of Long Island, and the ancestor of 
the Norfolk Rapeljes. Elizabeth Wyckoff, another sister, was 
the mother of the second wife of' Oliver Mabee, of Vittoria. 
Mrs. Mabee's maiden name was Helen McGarren. The wife of 
Colonel Jacob Potts, a distinguished resident of old Charlotte- 
ville many years ago, was another sister in the same generation 
of this old Wyckoff family of Long Island. 

Originally, two brothers, Peter and Glaus Wyckoff, emi- 
grated from Holland to America. Glaus settled in Monmouth 
County, New Jersey, and Peter settled at Flatlands' Neck, Long 
Island. The grandchildren of Sarah Wyckoff- Rapelje may 
thus readily trace their grand maternal ancestry back through 
more than a dozen generations to this Peter Wyckoff, who is 
supposed to have settled in Long Island about fifteen years 
after the landing of the " Pilgrim Fathers " on Plymouth rock. 
The Rev. Dr. Strong, in his " History of Flatbush," published in 
] 842, says : " It is believed that a settlement was effected in 
Flatlands as early as 1630, and in 163i the town appears to 
have contained a goodly number of inhabitants." Two years 
ago the Brooklyn Eagle published a cut and minute description 
of this old family homestead ; and, after a careful search 
among the family records, says : " There is no doubt the 
Wyckoff ancestor of the present family was among the first to 
locate, and hence the homestead has been handed down from 
generation to generation for at least 260 years, while the house 
itself is 230 years old." The Wyckoff estate was originally 
purchased from the Canarsie Indians. 

Peter Wyckoff, the grandfather of Mrs. Rapelje and Mrs. 
Potts, and the great grandfather of Mrs Mabee, was a weaver 
as well as a farmer, and the shop where he had his loom is yet 
in fair condition. His second cousin, Garrett Peter Wyckoff, 
who owned two or three farms near Flatlands village, and died 
about twenty-six years ago, aged ninety-five, was a carpenter. 
He built the great Dutch barn for Peter Wyckoff, the weaver, 
in 1809, and it is said this massive barn will endure for ages, 
barring accident by fire or phenomenal eruption. 


During the struggle for independence, Governor Clinton made 
Major Hendrick Wyckoff a financial agent for obtaining specie 
loans from the people for the support of the cause of freedom. 
He was furnished with notes in blank by the Governor, and 
he filled them up with the names of the loaners and the sums 
loaned, as the money was paid into his hands. He had charge 
of all the money obtained in King's County, employing several 
sub-agents, who procured loans and brought the money to him. 
To the English, this was high treason on the part of both 
money-lenders and agents, and punishable by death or a 
prison-ship dungeon. It is said that the sum of $200,000 
was obtained in this way and carried out of King's County, 
right in the face of the strictest surveillance on the part of the 
British, although at times Major Wyckoff was compelled to 
pass through their lines. On one occasion he was concealed 
over two days in a thicket of briars, from which he could 
see the English soldiers as they searched for him. 

After the close of the war, Major WyckofF became a mer- 
chant in New York. He died in 1791, at his father's house 
in New Lots, aged fifty years. His funeral was attended by 
the Governor, by many military officers and a large concourse 
of people as a tribute of respect to a hero who had made 
himself an exile from home and braved every danger for the 
cause of liberty. 

The present occupants of the old homestead have in their 
possession a large mass of old deeds and documents, some 
written in the Dutch language and some on massive parch- 
ment. There are no Indian deeds, as they were destroyed in 
1684, twenty years after the English conquest, by order of 
Governor Dongan, and new patents issued, thereby acknow- 
ledging the British Government, and at the same time adding 
to the Governor's revenue. Under the new regime the Dutch 
towns were obliged to pay a quit-rent annually, which, for 
Flatlands, was fourteen bushels of winter wheat. Among the 
old deeds is the following : 


" Know all men by these presents, that I, peter g. wyckoff, 
of Flatlands, King's county, have sold to peter r. wyckoff a 

Elece of plain Land in said town, bounded east by John 
ulofsen, west by the way, south by John Tunison, and north 
by peter K. wyckoff, containing about ten acres, and I do own 
to having received full consideration. 

" In witness my hand and seal this 7th day of March, 1731. 
" In presence of 



Another paper is a slave "bill of sale," dated July 1st, 1800, 
in which John J. Jeromus and George Lott sell a negro named 
Harry, his wife, Bet, and their female child, Peg, to Abraham 
Wyckoff for $450. 

No data was obtained showing the history of the New Jersey 
branch of the family, except the simple fact of settlement made 
in Monmouth County by the original Glaus Wyckoff It is said 
that one Peter Wyckoff, a U. E. Loyalist, migrated from Long 
Island to Upper Canada early in the last decade of last century, 
and settled at the foot of the mountain near St. Catharines. 
He had married Catherine Plato in Long Island, and it is said 
his children were all born in Canada. When his youngest 
child, Peter, was three months old he returned to Long Island 
to settle up some business affairs, and was never seen again 
by his little family. He collected a sum of money and, as is 
supposed, was robbed and murdered on his way back. Subse- 
quently, the young widow married John Clendenning, a miller, 
by whom she had one daughter, Catherine. 

In the beginning of the new century the family moved up 
to Long Point settlement, where Mr. Clendenning obtained 
employment as miller in Colonel Ryerse's mill at Port Ryerse. 
In the family were two sons John and Peter Wyckoff; and 
two daughters Margaret Wyckoff and Catherine Clendenning. 

John Wyckoff was born about 1794, presumably in the 
Niagara settlement. His boyhood clays, as were those of his 
brother Peter, were spent in the Ryerse mill in rendering such 


aid as they could to their stepfather, who possessed a weak 
constitution. When the war of 1812 came on the Wyckoff 
boys enlisted, and poor John lost his life at the battle of 
Fort Erie. David J. Wyckoff, of Woodhouse Gore, has in his 
possession the red coat worn by his uncle John when he 
received the fatal shot. A little below the collar of the coat 
is a tell-tale perforation, which is painfully suggestive of the 
manner in which John Wyckoff lost his young life in the defence 
of his country. Although it shows that his back was to the foe, 
it does not prove that the handful of brave militiamen who 
were forced back upon Chippawa by many times their own 
number, were cowards. The lad who wore this old coat of 
faded red was the son of a man whose faith in the old empire 
could not be shaken by the misdeeds of passing politicians, or 
promises on the part of new-fledged demagogues of more favor- 
able conditions based on untried experiments. These Loyalists 
had the courage of their convictions, and when the cause they 
so dearly loved fell upon their homes, involving them in hope- 
less ruin, they laid a new foundation in the wilds of Upper 
Canada ; and when this new foundation was assailed by the 
same forces which destroyed the old, their sons marched to 
the front in companies and hurled back whole battalions of 
the invaders, preventing them for three long years from get- 
ting a firm foothold on Canadian soil. 

Peter Wyckoff, the second son, was born in the Niagara 
home in 1796. He served in the war of 1812, although but 
sixteen years old when the war broke out. In 1815 he mar- 
ried Abigail Gilbert, and settled on land allotted him in the 
township of Malahide. In 1820 he purchased Lot 21 in the 
Gore of Woodhouse, where he lived the remainder of his life. 
He died in 1881 in his eighty-eighth year, having been mar- 
ried three times. By the first wife he had four sons John, 
Isaac Gilbert, Peter and David; and four daughters Amanda, 
Mary, Catherine and Abigail. By his second wife, Sarah 
Tomkins, of New York, he had two sons David James and 
Joseph S. ; and two daughters Margaret and Elizabeth. The 


mother of the second family died in 1862, in her sixty-second 
year. By the third wife, Mrs. Eliza Olds, he had no children. 

Isaac G. Wyckoff is one of the best known citizens of old 
Townsend, having been identified with the municipal affairs of 
that township for a score of years. 

David James, half-brother of Isaac G., is the present occu- 
pant of the old homestead. 

Margaret Wyckoff, only daughter of Long Island Peter, was 
born in 1792, being the eldest child. She married Isaac Gilbert. 
Her children are enumerated in the Gilbert genealogy. 

Catherine Clendenning, half-sister of Margaret, married 
Ebenezer Gilbert. 

From the time the original Peter Wyckoff came from Hol- 
land with his brother Glaus, down to the present time, "Peter" 
has been a favorite family name in each succeeding generation 
of Wvckoffs. 



NOT many of our old families can trace their ancestry back 
to so illustrious a personage as the one claimed by the Walker 
family, of Woodhouse. This old Norfolk family are the lineal 
descendants of George Walker, Bishop of 'Derry, who, refusing 
to hold quiet possession of his bishopric, placed himself at the 
head of a troop and fell at the battle of the Boyne in the 
cause of Protestantism. He was born of English parents in 
the County of Tyrone, in the early part of the 17th century. 
He was educated at the University of Glasgow, and, entering 
the Church, became rector of Donoughmore. When the Irish 
army of James II. entered Ulster and took possession of Kil- 
more and Coleraine, Mr. Walker sought refuge in Londonderry. 
The lands of this county were held by the Corporation of the 
City of London, having been confiscated during the reign of 
the first James. A colony of English and Scotch had been 
planted there, and Londonderry, therefore, was English head- 
quarters in Ireland during these troublous times. The town 
was able to ward off attacks from the pike-armed Celts, but it 
was not sufficiently fortified to withstand a siege by regular 
troops. Lundy, the Governor, was prepared to make a 
surrender, but some of his officers and the citizens of the town 
protested against such an act, and firmly resolved to hold their 
position at all hazards. Bishop Ezekiel Hopkins was a strong 
advocate of passive obedience, and while he was urging the 
people to make no resistance, a Scotch lad interrupted him by 
shouting : " A good sermon, my lord ; but we have no time to 
hear it now." This lad was one of a daring band, known as 
the "thirteen Scotch apprentices/' and immediately after the 
interruption this band of young Scotch heroes closed the gates 
and defied the enemy. It was now that Rev. George Walker 


came forward, a man unknown and well advanced in years, 
and began to harangue the people to fight to the last. His 
words were words of inspiration to them, and so enthused did 
they become in their determination to hold their position or 
die, that Lundy would have fallen a victim to their fury if 
Walker had not protected him until he succeeded in escaping 
from the city. The particulars of the siege, which is the most 
memorable in British history, are known to every student of 
history, and it is not necessary to dwell upon it here. Mr. 
Walker and Major Baker became joint governors, assisted by 
Captain Adam Campbell. When the inhabitants were reduced 
to great extremity by hunger, Mr. Walker kept up their 
spirits by preaching rousing sermons to them in the Cathedral, 
and placing himself at the head of sallying parties. 

When the English fleet brought relief Walker went to 
London, where he was warmly received, thanked by the 
House of Commons, created Doctor of Divinity by Oxford, and 
made Bishop of 'Derry by the King. It is said that Bishop 
Walker's portrait was in every house in England, and a lofty 
pillar was erected to his memory in Londonderry. A recollec- 
tion of this terrible siege has been kept alive to this day by 
the Walker club and Campbell club of Londonderry. 

Just one hundred years after the battle of the Boyne a 
great-grandson of the old hero of Londonderry bade his young 
wife an affectionate farewell and came to America to learn for 
himself what the chances in the new country were like. He 
was favorably impressed, and resolved to return to old Erin for 
his girl wife; but when he reached New York he received the 
sad intelligence that she had died in child-birth, and was 
buried. The cord that bound Henry Walker's heart to the 
" Little Green Isle " was thus cruelly severed, and he turned 
his face once more towards Maryland, but not accompanied, as 
he had fondly anticipated, by his bride of only one short year. 
But he was a true son of Britain, and found numerous friends 
among the persecuted U. E. Loyalists, whose homes had been 
confiscated by the victorious Americans. 

In the month of June, 1793, a party of these Loyalists, con- 


sisting of twelve families from North Carolina and Maryland, 
arrived on the Niagara frontier, and Henry Walker, who was 
twenty -five years old at the time, came with them. Solomon 
Austin and family were of this party, and soon after they 
effected a settlement in Lynn River Valley. 

Henry Walker married Mary, eldest daughter of Solomon 
Austin, and erected a home of his own among the Austins ; 
and before the sun had been given a chance to kiss the rich, 
virgin soil of the picturesque little valley the cooings of the 
first-born Walker, of Norfolk, might have been heard mingling 
with the warble of the birds as they flitted about among the 
waving tree-tops. It is said that this pioneer baby was the 
first white child born in Norfolk ; but as similar honors are 
claimed by several other old families, it would be safer for the 
Walkers to confine their claim to the township of Woodhouse. 
This priority of birth has been claimed by the McCalls and 
Culvers also, but there are good reasons for assuming that 
Sarah Fairchild, who was born in Townsend March 26th, 
1794, was the first white child born in the county ; that is, as 
far as the records produced would seem to indicate. 

In Henry Walker's family were two sons James and 
Solomon; and two daughters Rebecca and Esther. Mrs. 
W^alker was entitled, as a daughter of a U. E. Loyalist, to a 
land grant, and if she or her husband had attended to. it while 
Sir John Graves Simcoe was Governor, they would, no doubt, 
have secured it. The old pioneer died in 1834, in his 67th year. 

James Walker, eldest son of Henry, married Hannah 
Robinson, and settled near the old homestead. He was only 
sixteen when the war of 1812 broke out, yet he joined the 
militia forces and served during the last two years of the war ; 
and later on, during rebellion times, he was first lieutenant in 
a mounted troop of horsemen. James W T alker was one of the 
pioneer magistrates of Woodhouse, and it may truthfully be 
said his magisterial duties, as well as the various duties 
devolving upon him as a citizen, were performed fairly, faith- 
fully and fearlessly. He had two sons Dr. Robert and 
William ; and three daughters Phoebe, Mary and Rebecca. 


As before stated, James Walker was only sixteen when the 
war of 18 L 2 broke out. He was too young the first year to 
enter the ranks, but he drove a yoke of oxen in the trans- 
portation service, and while at Fort Norfolk one day he became 
very much interested in a cannon. The bore of a 12-pounder 
looked larger to him than the bore of a modern Krupp would 
look to an old war veteran. It seemed big enough to thrust 
his head into it, and, boy fashion, he proceeded to put his 
surmises to a practical test. While thus engaged an officer 
struck the cannon a sharp blow with a cane, and young Walker 
was fired end-over-end a considerable distance at least it 
seemed so to him. It was some time before he could be made 
to realize that he had not actually crawled into that cannon 
and been shot out of it. 

Solomon, second son of Henry, married Sarah, daughter of 
Nathaniel Osborne, and succeeded to the old homestead. He 
was one of the pioneer councillors of Woodhouse. He died in 
1881, in his 77th year. He had four sons Henry, Nathaniel 
Osborn, David Marr and Solomon ; and three daughters 
Mary, Sarah and Alice. Of these sons, Nathaniel Osborne is 
the well-known Dr. N. O. Walker, of Port Dover, who has 
practised medicine in South Norfolk for over forty years. 
David Marr is Judge D. M. Walker, of Winnipeg, Man." ; and 
Solomon is mining in the at present famous Rossland 

Rebecca Walker, elder daughter of Henry, married David 
Marr, Esq., of Marr's Hill. There were three sons in this 
family Dr. Israel, James and Dr. Walker ; and two daughters 
-Caroline and Mary. 

Esther Walker, the younger daughter of Hwnry Walker, 
married Joseph Carpenter. They settled, finally, in one of the 
Western States. 

It was just one hundred years from the battle of the Boyne 
to the departure of Henry Walker for America, and it will be 
observed that more than another hundred years of the world s 
history has been made since Henry Walker built his log cabin 
among the trees in Lynn Valley. 



NEAR Delhi a field may be seen which, apparently, has been 
denuded of its natural growth of forest trees for as many 
succeeding generations of men as the oldest fields in old 
Charlotteville ; and yet the transition from forest to cultivated 
land in this field was made quite recently, and made quickly 
and comparatively easy, and at small expense. Every piece of 
timber-growth possessed a commercial value for purposes of 
manufacture into lumber, frame timber, rails, posts, stakes, 
hoop poles or fuel, which more than paid the cost of removal 
from the land. Fire consumed the refuse quickly and inexpen- 
sively, leaving nothing but a thickly dotted mass of green and 
charred stumps. The modern " Steelyard " stump lifter, posses- 
sing such wonderful lifting power, with a mechanism so simple 
and light, was run over the ground, and every stump, large and 
small, was torn from the earth, root and branch, and dropped 
upon the surface with its intricate mass of green, wiry, snake- 
like roots exposed to sun and air. The ground was at once 
enclosed with a neat and everlasting fence made of these 
stumps; and, presto! the wonderful transformation was 
effected. How different was the work of clearing land in our 
grandfathers' days ! It was their hard lot to whittle out 
homes in a primeval forest at a time when human muscle was 
the great and only fulcrum used in lifting the daily burdens of 
life in the struggle to make material improvements. Indeed, 
when we reflect upon the crude ways and means made use 
of by our forefathers in clearing land, making roads and 
erecting buildings, we get some idea of the hard, grinding 


drudgery that marked their lives. Their only rule was that 
of " cut and fit,' and they accomplished their arduous tasks by 
" main strength and awkwardness." 

When we think of the crude methods and meagre appli- 
ances prevailing at that time, and remember that a lack of 
means prevented many from even taking advantage of the 
best known methods, crude as they were, the task that con- 
fronted them seems, indeed, a herculean one. A log shanty 
was erected on the bank of a stream or near a good spring ; 

and in front, in the rear, 
and on either side, as far 
as the eye could reach, 
nothing could be seen but 
the evergreen plumes and 
interlocked branches of 
giant forest trees, waving 
in stoical defiance of the 
lonely settler's boldly-laid 
plans for their ultimate 
extermination. It was a 
bold undertaking for one 
pair of weak, human arms ; 
but the sturdy settlers 
believed that the labor of 
the day was sufficient for 
that day, and so they im- 
proved the passing hours, firmly believing that other days 
would come, each with its quota of work well performed, 
and that, ultimately, all would be crowned with success. 
They did not have the neat, easy- working tools that -enables 
two men, in our day, to put up eight cords of stove-wood 
in a day. Their axes w^ere crude and clumsy, and their 
cross-cut saws were regular man-killers. Many a forest tree 
stood erect a .half-day after the settler had dealt his first blow 
before it came crashing to earth. But blow after blow, and 
chip after chip, laid the towering giants low, and in a short 



time the sun was permitted to kiss a spot of virgin soil suffici- 
ently large for a " garden patch." 

A well known Windham pioneer, now an octogenarian, was 
born and reared on one of the old homesteads of Charlotteville. 
After helping his father clear a large portion of the old home- 
stead he married and settled on a wild lot in the woods of 
Windham, which he has long since transformed into beautiful 
fields, and which he still owns and occupies. This old pioneer 
related his experience in clearing land, and as it fairly repre- 
sents the common experi- 
ence of all the old pioneers, 
the story is given in his 
own words, as follows : 

" Yes, the old lady an' 
I have done our share of 
clearin' land. She was 
also born an' brought up 
on a Charlotteville farm, 
an' when she was a girl at 
home she used to pick up 
roots an' brush an' work in 
the ' foller ' ; an' after we 
settled up here in the woods 
he picked up chunks an' 
fired many a log-heap in 
these old front fields. She 
did all the milkin', too, mind ye, an' spun, an' wove, an' knit 
socks to sell to the storekeepers ; which is more than girls do 
nowadays, I tell ye. 

" When I commenced here I laid out to clear about ten acres 
a year, an' I guess I averaged about that much. There was 
pine timber scattered all over the hull lot. In some places it 
was ' sap-pine ' an' stood thick on the ground, an' in other 
places it was big white pine, some of which was four feet, or 
over, in diameter. No man who never had any experience in 
clearm' pine land forty or fifty years ago, knows anything 



about the amount of labor involved in the undertaking. There 
was no market for pine logs, an' what the settler didn't need 
for fence rails or lumber for buildin' purposes, was an expensive 
obstacle in the way of clearin' the land. It was chopped down 
an' cut up into log-heap lengths, an' the logs were rolled up in 
big heaps. Several yokes of oxen an' a good supply of hands 
were needed to log up a pine ' foller,' and this was accomplished 
by makin' loggin' bees. At these bees whiskey was as free as 
water, an' when the work was over at night, the men would be 
as black as ' niggers.' When the ' foller ' was fired the hull 
neighborhood was lit up, but after burning all the ' chunk in' 
out of the heaps the fires would die out, an' then the charred 
and slightly reduced logs would have to be snaked together 
and rebuilt into new an' fewer heaps, an' fired ' agin ' ; and this 
would have to be repeated 'til all the log-heaps in the 'foller' had 
been reduced to one or two, an' what was left of these would 
be snaked off into the joining choppin' to be used as chunkin' 
in the next " foller." My ! I have tugged away in this slavish 
manner, trying to get rid of pine logs that would make a 
thousand feet of clear white-pine lumber worth, to-day, thirty 
dollars ; an' there were hundreds of trees burned up on this 
farm from each of which three such logs might have been 
taken. This would amount to $90 a tree, an' some of 'em had 
enough common lumber in their tops to bring the value up 
to $100, were they standing to-day. Why, a whole acre of 
the land where these trees stood, wouldn't sell for as much, 
to-day, as one o' them logs." 

" When the first settlers came to Long Point it was a ques- 
tion of gettin' something to eat as quickly as possible. They 
brought their families with 'em, an' they had no base of sup- 
plies to draw on for the first year, as their sons had when they, 
later on, became pioneers in the back, unsettled portions of the 
county. The hardships suffered by the original pioneers for 
the first year or two, were far more severe than any suffered by 
those who came after them. The land was underbrushed an' 
grubbed, the large timber girdled an' seed scratched in among 


the roots ; an' until a little food crop of some kind was pro- 
duced, it was ' nip-an'-tuck ' to keep soul an' body together. 

" But when I came here in the woods sixty years ago, as one 
of the pioneers of this portion of the township, it was different. 
We came out from near-by comfortable homes, which were 
accessible to us for supplies while engaged in choppin' our first 
' f oilers,' buildin' our log cabins an' gettin' ready for the first 

" A large portion of this lot was covered with oak grubs, an' 
it would break the heart of any young feller now-a-days to 
even think of the number o' back-achin' days I put in swingin' 
that heavy old grub-hoe. 

" We grubbed in the day-time an' picked up and burned at 
night, an' many a night the old lady helped pick up and burn 
grubs 'till after ten o'clock. A quarter of an acre was con- 
sidered a fair, average day's work at grubbin'. The soil was 
full o' small roots, an' after the crop was put in an' the old 
three-cornered drag had done its duty, these roots and vines 
had to be gathered into heaps, which looked like haycocks in 
the distance. 

" After the loggin' and grubbin' we considered the land 
ready for cultivation. Fire an' rot consumed the hardwood 
stumps in a few years, but it seemed as though the big black 
pine stumps would last till the crack o' doomsday. When I 
stumped a patch for my first little orchard the diggin' of the 
big stumps cost me seventy-five cents each, an' then it cost me 
'bout as much to get rid of 'em an' fill up the holes. The pine 
stumps averaged about twenty-five to the acre, an' it cost about 
forty cents each, on an average, to have 'em pulled. Diggin' 
stumps by hand was a slow, tedious job. It was enough to 
break a feller's heart who was trying his level best to clear up 
200 acres o' pine land. Diggin' stumps by hand was expensive, 
too, as it took a pretty good crop to pay for diggin' out the 
stumps on a given piece o' land ; an' then the ground was left 
full o' roots, an' you had the stumps to burn off' an' the holes to 
fill up besides. Stump fence ? Why, the stump fence is a 


modern institution ; it hadn't been invented when I was in my 
prime. I guess the young folks in my day didn't lie 'wake 
nights crackin' their brains tryin' to study up labor savin' 
schemes, like they do now-a-days. 

"A man named Nelson Colt came over from Rochester an' 
helped me construct the first stump machine ever seen in these 
parts. It was built on a claw-hammer principle an' worked 
with a set o' pulleys. I used this machine till it killed a good 
ox for me, an' then I threw it aside. When the lever machine 
made its appearance I built a large one at a cost of $170. Next 
came the screw machine, an' I paid $80 for a set of irons alone ; 
an' at a sale the other day a similar set of irons, as good as new 
an' all complete, sold for ten York shillings. The screw machine 
had served its day an' nobody wanted it. Now, the powerful 
steelyard machine is doin' the work, an' I guess it's come to 
stay. Years ago, when I was havin' my land stumped as fast 
as I could afford it, three men an' a yoke of oxen made up the 
usual outfit with the old lever machine. They went about 
stumpin' at five dollars a day, includin' board. This meant a 
a cost of gettin' the land stumped of from $5 to $30 per acre. 
In addition to this it took two men an' a yoke of oxen two days 
to dispose of the stumps on an average acre, after they were 

" Why, there are fields on this old farm that cost me fully 
$40 an acre to clear 'em, an' the land isn't worth $20 an acre 
to-day. If I had built my first cabin somewhere among the 
beeches and sugar maples, my life's work would have been a 
play spell in comparison with what it has been ; an' to-day I 
would have rich and productive fields, an' the old lady an' I 
would have much more to leave to our children than we now 



THE Wood family is one of Norfolk's oldest families. Israel, 
the father of this family, was a U. E. Loyalist, as was also his 
father, Caleb. Israel was twenty-nine years old when the 
colonies declared their independence. After the close of the 
war the family fled into New Brunswick, and there several 
of Israel's children were born. Caleb died in New Brunswick, 
in his 72nd year. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary 
Vail, survived her husband eight years her death occurring 
in 1802, in her 78th year. Caleb Wood had two sons Israel 
and Caleb ; and three daughters Phoebe, Mary and Ruth. The 
youngest of these children was born in New Jersey twelve 
years before the colonies threw off their allegiance to the 
British Crown. About a hundred years ago Israel, who at 
that time was nearly fifty years old, came to Long Point with 
his family, which consisted of six sons and three daughters. 
He drew land on the lake front near Port Ryerse, upon which 
he settled. Owing to his advanced age the old settlers speak 
of him as " old Israel Wood." The names of his six pioneer 
sons were, Platt, Samuel, Jacob, Israel, Caleb and James. The 
three daughters' names were, Phoebe, Sarah and Keturah. 
Israel Wood died in 1817, in his 70th year, and his wife, whose 
maiden name was Ruth Goold, died in 1829, in her 81st year. 

Platt Wood, eldest son of Israel, married Sarah, daughter 
of Col. Isaac Gilbert, and settled on Lot 1 9, 2nd concession of 
Charlotteville. Here he lived and raised his family. He lived 
a quiet, industrious life, and died in 1839, in his 58th year ; 
and his wife died in 1850, in her 67th year. He had five sons 
Jacob, Isaac G., Israel H., Abraham H., and Andrew ; and 
six daughters Phoebe, Betsy, Rebecca, Sarah E., Amelia and 
Hester Ann. That insidious destroyer of human life, consump- 
tion, played sad havoc in this family. Of these eleven children 


two ANDREW and HESTER ANN died in childhood. SARAH E. 
died at sixteen ; five died before reaching thirty ; PHCEBE died 
at thirty-four, and BETSY reached her thirty-fifth year. JACOB 
alone attained a comparatively good age, having reached his 
seventy-second year. His widow survives him, and occupies 
the old homestead with three of her sons. 

Samuel Wood, second son of Israel, married Anna Vail, and 
settled in Charlotteville. He had four sons William, Samuel 
C., James B., and Isaac N.; and six daughters Ruth, Sarah, 
Elizabeth, Elinor M. ; Phoebe E., and Emily. Samuel Wood 
also led a quiet, industrious life, and died respected by all who 
knew him. In 1802 he was appointed Constable for Wood- 
house by the old Court of Quarter Sessions, before it was 
established at Turkey Point. 

William, eldest son of Samuel, married Miriam, daughter of 
John Mark Culver, and settled in Windharn. He had four 
sons Ira Mark, Dr. George W., Darius C., and James C.; and 
six daughters Sarah, Ruth, Mary A , Phoebe M., and Estella A. 

Three sons of the original Israel Wood Jacob, Israel and 


James married, respectively, Sophia, Jemima -and Katrina, 
daughters of John Gustin, of Vittoria. All settled in Oxford 
County, where they purchased land at two dollars per acre. 

Caleb Wood, sixth son of Israel, married Elizabeth Davis, 
a distant relative of the notorious " Jeff Davis," who went 
down with the late Southern Confederacy. He settled in 
Windham, on " Buckwheat " street, where he raised his family. 
Caleb Wood was an active man, and took a greater interest in 
public matters than any of his brothers. He was a carpenter, 
and built many houses in his time, and also served his township 
as Tax Collector. In 1846 his busj^life ended in his 58th year; 
and seventeen years later his wife followed him at the age of 
seventy- one. Caleb had seven sons John J., Thomas D., 
Richard, William, David, George, and Jacob ; and four daughters 
Harriet, Angelina, Amelia Ann and Louisa. 

Phoebe and Sarah Wood, the two eldest daughters of Israel 
Wood, died young in New Brunswick ; and Keturah, the young- 
est daughter, died in infancy. 



" OH, what a name !" I hear some young reader exclaim. Well, 
what is the matter with the name ? There is no reason in the 
world why even a common, e very-day Smith should always 
have a Joe or a John placed before it. Now, if the name form- 
ing the headline of this sketch had been written Othniel 
Pegasus instead of Othniel Smith you would think it was all 
right. You would accept it without comment as a name pecu- 
liar to some foreign language; but because the last part is 
simply Smith, you think the first part is out of place. If it 
was Othniel Smythe, for instance, it would, no doubt, have a 
more euphonious sound, but we cannot change it, and therefore 
you mnst accept it just as it is. Don't say, however, that you 
never heard the name before, as that would be evidence of 
carelessness in your Bible readings. The mother of Othniel, 
like all the mothers of her time, did not ransack every creation 
of fiction for names for her children, as mothers do nowadays. 
They chose names that stood for something names that pos- 
sessed a common noun significance of meaning, and were repre- 
sentative of various types of character that had been demon- 
strated in real life by actual living personages. The Bible 
was the only book consulted when our great-grandmothers made 
a choice of names for their babies. The mother of Othniel 
Smith had read the story of Othniel, son of Kenaz, and first 
judge of the Israelites, how he had delivered his countrymen 
from the tyranny of the King of Mesopotamia, and she admired 
his character. Othniel was expressive of something. It meant 
valor, patriotism, and fidelity to righteous principles, and she 
named her son Othniel. 

Looking at it in the light of our day and generation it was 
no baby name; but we must remember that when Othniel 
Smith was a baby the conditions of life made it impossible for 


any baby to always remain a bab}^ as they sometimes do in 
our times, consequently they had no use for baby names. 
Thus it is that among the sturdy old pioneers who came into 
the wilds of this Long Point region of country a hundred years 
ago, we find so many Abrahams, Isaacs and Jacobs, with a 
copious sprinkling of Moses and Aaron, and not a few Abiels, 
Absaloms, Abners, Adonirams, Benjamins, Adams, Davids, 
Solomons, Ebenezers, Eliphalets, Ephraims, Jobs and Ezekiels, 
and even a few Barzillias, Zephaniahs and one Othniel. 
Among the old pioneer mothers we find in nearly every 
family a Rebecca "of enchanting beauty;" an Elizabeth 
"worshipper of God ;" Rhoda " a rose ;" Matilda " a heroine;" 
Catherine " pure ; " Abigail " my father's joy ; " Amanda 
"worthy to be loved;" Ann "grace;" Elinor "light." 
Eliza " consecrated to God ; " Esther " a star ; " Eva " life;" 
Hannah "favor;" Jane "the gracious gift of God;" Jem- 
ima " a dove ; " Nancy " inherent excellence ; " Phoebe 
" pure and radiant ; " Ruth " beauty ; " or a Miriam, meaning 
'' star of the sea." There is hardly a family without a Mar- 
garet " a pearl," and more than one old family boasted of a 
Mehitabel, which means " benefited of God." Life was no 
passing dream to the fathers and mothers who conquered the 
forests of Norfolk it was intensely real, and the very names 
they bore had a significant meaning. 

Othniel Smith was one of the early pioneers. He was 
born in New Jersey of an ancestry that came from Cheshire, 
England. He had several brothers who, with himself, emigrated 
to Western Canada in 1778, or about fourteen years before it 
was organized into the Province of Upper Canada. The early 
Niagara settlement was thus liberally supplied with Smiths. 
In the closing year of last century Othniel came up with his 
family and settled in the new Long Point settlement, and no 
one of old Charlotteville's pioneers made a wiser choice of land 
than he did. Who does not know of the A. W. Smith home- 
stead, or " the Workey Smith farm," as it is commonly, but 
erroneously termed ? This beautiful and productive farm, 
consisting of Lot 24, 5th concession, has been occupied by the 


Smith family from the time father Othniel settled on it in 1800 
to the present time. The present occupant, Andrew, is a son of 
A. W. Smith, and a great-grandson of Othniel, the old pioneer. 

Othniel Smith was a man well advanced in years when he 
came to the settlement, and his family were all grown up. 
He died in 1813, leaving four sons Andrew, Samuel, Garrett 
and Abraham ; and one daughter, Rachel. 

Andrew Smith, eldest son of Othniel, was born in Niagara 
District, in 1781. He married Elizabeth Sovereign, and suc- 
ceeded his father on the old homestead. He died in 1849, in 
his 70th year, leaving four sons David, Philip, Daniel and Abra- 
ham W.; and five daughters Rachel, Patience, Elizabeth, Nancy 
and Mary Jane. Mrs. Smith died in 1817, in her 65ch year. 

Philip Smith, second son of Andrew, married Elizabeth L. 
Ernes, and settled finally in Charlotteville. He had three sons 
Warren T., Elbridge 0. and John A. ; and three daughters 
Mary A., Augusta A. and Emrna L. 

Samuel Smith, second son of Othniel, married and settled 
near " Five Stakes," Elgin County, where he raised a family. 

Garrett Smith, third son of Othniel, settled near St. Thomas, 
where he raised a large family. The name of Garrett Smith 
appears on the pages of Joseph Tisdale's old tannery blotter 
for the year 1804. 

Abraham Smith, youngest son of Othniel, settled in the 
Lake St. Clair settlement, where he raised a family. 

Rachel Smith, only daughter of the old pioneer, married a 
man named Boughner, and settled near " Five Stakes," Elgin 

It is not known whether Othniel Smith was related to 
Abraham Smith, the pioneer head of Charlotteville's oldest 
Smith family or not, but there are good reasons for assuming 
that they were branches of one common family tree. Both 
were of English descent, and both came from New Jersey. 
Each had a son Samuel, a son Abraham, and a daughter Rachel ; 
and, what is more convincing than all else, it is said there 
was a striking resemblance between the sons and daughters in 
the two original families. 



EARLY in the present century there were living in Green 
County, New York, four Van Loon brothers, descendants of an 
old Holland family. Three of these brothers Jacob, Abraham 
and Evart came to Upper Canada ; and the fourth brother, 
John, remained in Green County. Jacob came first and took 
up land at the mouth of whnt is known as the " Twenty-mile 
Creek." He was visiting in his native State when the war of 
1812 broke out, and the American authorities detained him a 
year and a half before he was able to return to his family ; 
and while remaining under this proscription he spent a part of 
the time teaching a district school. While there may have 
been ample opportunity for escaping out of the country, he no 
doubt considered " discretion the better part of valor," and 
deemed a schoolroom a pretty safe place in war times. Mr. 
Van Loon married Sarah Smith in the State of New York, 
and was a pioneer teacher, surveyor and preacher in the 
Township of Walpole when that township was identified with 
the interests of Long Point settlement. They had three sons 
Jacob, Thomas and Abraham ; and five daughters Mary, 
Catherine, Susan, Caroline and Jane, who grew up into man- 
hood and womanhood. 

Jacob Van Loon, eldest son of Jacob, married Margaret Post, 
and settled on Lot 12, 6th concession of Townsend. He became 
a Baptist preacher, and for nearly sixty years has been familiarly 
known throughout the county as Elder Jacob Van Loon. 
During all these years he has never been without a pastorate 
for more than six months at a time. He had charge of the old 


Boston church for four years ; but, as he has always been an 
industrious worker, and in receipt of an income derived from 
his manual labor, he has spent a large portion of his life in the 
spiritual care and building up of weak churches that could ill 
afford to pay handsome salaries, and although in his eighty- 
sixth year he is still engaged in the good work. During his 
ministerial life he has married about eight hundred people, and 
out of this large number of conjugal knots tied by him, only 
two or three became untied. Elder Van Loon commands the 
respect and admiration of all who know him and that means 
pretty much every person in Norfolk not because nature 
may have arbitrarily endowed him with some brilliant talent, 
but because of his goodness of heart, his unselfish regard for 
the welfare of his fellowmen, his amiable disposition, and his 
easy elegance of manners. Eider Van Loon is a man of the 
people. To the refined in taste he is ever a worthy companion, 
and to the humble cottager, who spends his days in life's rough 
quarry, he is ever a most welcome visitor. For nearly sixty 
years he has prayed by the bedside of the sick and dying ; 
spoken words of good cheer to the destitute and suffering, and 
administered consolation to sorrowing friends on hundreds of 
occasions, as they looked for the last time upon their beloved 
dead. When the final summons comes for this old pulpit 
veteran he will be mourned by all who know him. 

Elder Van Loon had six sons and three daughters, one of 
whom, Alfred, occupies the fine old Townsend homestead, and 
is the sole survivor in his father's family. 

Thomas Van Loon, second son of the original Jacob, married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Solomon Wardell, and settled in Wai- 
pole. He had five sons Wellington, Solomon, Jacob, Hiram 
and Thomas ; and five daughters Melissa, Mary Ann, Sarah, 
Jane and Carrie. 

Abraham Van Loon, youngest son of the original Jacob, 
died single. 

Catherine Van Loon, eldest daughter of the original Jacob, 
married Jacob Price, and settled in the township of Louth. 


Susan Van Loon, the second daughter, married Isaac 
Overholt, and settled in Rainham. She had six children, 
William Overholt, of Bealton, and Mrs. John Moore, of Boston, 
are of this family. 

Caroline Van Loon, the third daughter, married William 
Decew, and settled at Decewsville. 

Mary Van Loon, the fifth daughter, married John Osborne, 
and settled in Louth. She had eight children, one of whom 
being Dr. J. W. Osborne, of Bealton. 

Jane Van Loon, the youngest daughter, married William 
Blackman, and settled in Rainham. 



No name is more strongly suggestive of old Charlotteville 
than that of Ephraim Tisdale. From the beginning of the 
century down to the present time, there has been one or more 
Ephraims in every generation of the Tisdale family, and those 
of the first three are entitled to the honor of being classed as 

There are seven Canadian branches of the Tisdale family, 
and the genealogy of each except that of Ephraim is given 
in another sketch entitled, " The Tisdale Brothers." 

The Tisdales, of Norfolk, are the descendants of an old 
Welsh family that settled in the County of Lancaster, England, 
where they rose to eminence through their acknowledged head, 
Sir John Tisdale, who was raised to the peerage. The Tisdale 
arms is minutely described in an old paper brought from New 
Brunswick by John Tisdale the family crest being a peacock's 
head in natural colors on an azure field. Some time in the 
first half of the seventeenth century, the great-grandfather of 
our own Col. David Tisdale's great-grandfather, came to 
America and settled in old Massachusetts Bay Colony, receiv- 
ing a grant of land which was described as the town of 
Freetown. Walker Tisdale, the only son of the first Ephraim, 
who remained in New Brunswick, visited Freetown early in 
the present century and saw there, in the old Tisdale burying 
ground, the tombs of his great grandparents, being marked by 
two large horizontal granite slabs. During Cromwell's time, 
one John Paul, a Scotch Loyalist, fled from England and came 
to America, and his daughter was the grandmother of father 


Ephraim of this sketch. Ephraim's father owned a shipyard 
in the vicinity of Boston. He conducted an extensive business, 
and was a leading influential man. 

Ephraim Tisdale, the father of the Norfolk Tisdale family, 
was a sea captain. He owned a sailing vessel, and was em- 
ployed in the West India trade; and it is said that during 
the early part of the war of the Revolution he was engaged 
in Government service in the distribution of army supplies. 
During the war he fought for old King George, and when 
the end came, with its independence for the Americans and 
its bitter persecution for the Loyalists, the Tisdale estates 
were confiscated and the Captain and his family subjected to 
ignominious treatment. Turning their backs upon the old 
home, they fled into New Brunswick. Here, on the St. John 
River, between St. John and Fredericton, and near a place 
called Waterbury, they settled on lands allotted to U. E. 
Loyalists. Although very much reduced in circumstances and 
surrounded with less favorable conditions, the Old Flag which 


they loved and for which they had sacrificed so much, still 
waved over their heads, inspiring them with renewed courage 
and increased energy, and they were soon on the road to pros- 
perity again. Captain Tisdale resumed his seafaring life, as 
shown by an old document, which reads as follows : 


" BY THIS PUBLIC ACT, or Instrument of Protest, be it made 
known and manifest unto all men that on the day of the date 
hereof, before me, Valentine Jones, jun., Deputy Secretary and 
sole Notary Public of this Island, personally came and appeared 
Ephraim Tisdale, Master or Commander of the schooner ' Polly,' 
now riding at anchor in Carlisle Bay in this Island, and George 
Furser, Mate, belonging to the said Vessel, who being duly 
sworn on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, requested 
me, the said Notary, to make or draw a Protest for the 
reasons following, viz. : For that these Appearers sailed from 
the Port of Parr, in the Province of New Brunswick, on the 
thirteenth day of December last past bound for the Island, 
and proceeding on their said Voyage on the nineteenth day 


of the same month, in the Latitude 40.00 North, and Longitude 
60.30, met with a very hard Gale of Wind, which obliged them 
for the preservation of their lives to throw overboard eighty 
thousand shingles. WHEREFORE I, the said Notary, at the 
Instance and Request aforesaid, did even as I do by these 
Presents publicly and solemnly Protest as well against the 
hard Gale of Wind aforesaid as against the Insurers and 
owners of the said schooner 'Polly' and the shippers of her 
cargo, and all Persons with them concerned, for all Costs, 
Losses, Damages, Hurts, Detriments, Prejudices and Incon- 
venience whatsoever arising to these Appearers, or any others 
with them concerned, for or by reason or means of the Acci- 
dents and Misfortunes hereinbefore mentioned and set forth. 

" IN FAITH AND TESTIMONY whereof I, the said Notary, 
have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 
Twelfth day of January, One Thousand and Seven Hundred 
and Eighty-five. 


(Seal). " D. Secy. & N. Public." 

The city of St. John. N.B., was at this time called the town 
of " Parr," and it was at this place, on the 18th day of May, 
1783, where the first settlement in Canada of U. E. Loyalists 
was effected. 

We also learn that in 1786 Captain Tisdale had made a 
change from the Polly to some other vessel. His sons did' 
not all come to Long Point the same year. Lot came first. 
He came in 1798, and from that year down to 1808, when 
the old Captain and his remaining sons brought up the rear, 
much correspondence of a highly-interesting character passed to< 
and fro between the " Town of Charlotteville, Upper Canada," 
and " Waterbury, New Brunswick." This correspondence has 
been preserved, and, if published, would throw much light on 
the life and times of a hundred years ago. Lot, writing to his 
sister Hannah in 1800, states that " peaches are plentiful," and 
that he will secure a supply, as a young widow has an orchard 
so heavily laden that <: the trees have to be propped up." W T ho 
the " young widow " was who had such an orchard in Char- 
lotteville in 1800, he did not say. It is supposed, however, that 


she was Mrs. John Stone, nee Nancy Mabee, and that the peach 
orchard was located a little west of " The Glen," on the lot 
purchased and settled on in the following year by Ephraim, 
son of the Captain. 

In 1807, Father Ephraim wrote to Lot, describing an over- 
flow of the St. John River. The water rose until it was 
twenty-seven inches deep on the floor of his house, and the 
fences on his farm were nearly all washed away. He states 
that he can sell his farm for 800, and that he expects to be 
able to come to Long Point in the following spring. In 1808 
he came, and settled near Vittoria. He died, in 1815, in his 
seventy-first year. 

Ephraim Tisdale, son of the Captain, first came to notice as 
a cabin-boy on board his father's vessel, a few years before the 
war of the Revolution broke out. It is said he was also a 
captain of a trading vessel for some years previous to his 
coming to Upper Canada. In 1801 he was a married man, 
with two or three children. Lot had been in Long Point 
settlement for two or three years, and had written back many 
glowing descriptions of the country, leading other members of 
the family to a determination to come also. Accordingly, in 
1801, Ephraim and his family, William, and their widowed 
sister, Hannah, who had married Israel Perley, and her three 
children, started for Long Point. They came in small boats, 
taking advantage of the numerous water-stretches that inter- 
vened. At night the boats were drawn ashore and made to 
serve as a covering and protection for their sleeping berths. 
They came up along the shore and landed at the mouth of the 
ravine where now is located " The Glen." Ephraim settled on 
Lot 18, on the lake front, formerly taken up by John Stone, 
and here Ephraim, the grandson was born. Joseph Tisdale 
came to -the settlement in 1802, and purchased a portion of 
Ephraim's land, including the notorious " hollow," where he 
built his pioneer cabin. Ep'hraim did not possess the specu- 
lative spirit that his brothers were imbued with, and he took 
no part ; in their business adventures. He stuck to his farm and 


was contented with agricultural pursuits. He was appointed 
High Constable for the District of London, June 14th, 1803, 
and served one year. He had five sons Henry, Lot, Ephraim, 
James and Benjamin; and five daughters Elizabeth, Ruth, 
Philena, Matilda and Mary Ann. 

Henry Tisdale, eldest son of Ephraim, married Phoebe 
Teeple, and settled in Malahide. He had one son, Walker ; and 
two daughters Tryphena and Submit. 

Lot Tisdale, second son of Ephraim, married Margaret 
Shoemaker, and became a Middleton pioneer, settling near 
Courtland. He had four sons Lot, George, Nicholas and 
William R; and three daughters Hannah, Matilda and Sarah. 

Ephraim Tisdale, third son of Ephraim, was twice married. 
By his first wife, Mary Monroe, he had three sons Ephraim, 
James and William L.; and one daughter, Mary ; and by his 
second wife, Hannah Price, he had five sons Thomas P., 
Alonzo, David, Charles and Edward ; and two daughters 
Margaret Ann and Mary Francis. JAMES married Maria 
Coltman, settled on the homestead, and had three sons 
Walker, Allen McNabb and John C.; and six daughters Mary, 
Nancy, Camilla, Caroline, Susan and Harriet. BENJAMIX 
married Caroline Williams, settled near the homestead, and had 
two sons Albert and Eli; and three daughters Elizabeth, 
Helen and another who married into the Oak's family. 
ELIZABETH and Rum married, respectively, James Spore and 
Rev. Horace Dean. PHILENA married Ephraim T. Perley, and 
settled in Middleton, near Courtland. MAKY ANN married a 
Teeple, and settled in Ohio ; and MATILDA died single. 

Ephraim Tisdale, the father of this family, settled on Lot 
18, 5th concession of Charlotteville, remaining there until he 
died. He served his native township in the Municipal Council, 
leaving a creditable record behind him. He served as sergeant 
in a troop of cavalry during the rebellion, and ever after held 
an official position in the Norfolk Militia. It is not necessary 
to tell the people of Norfolk that Ephraim Tisdale was a 
staunch Loyalist. This would be a waste of words. He was 


notoriously loyal. He was fearless and outspoken in giving 
expression to his sentiments, politically, religiously or socially. 
He was upright and honorable in business transactions, and 
sympathetic and generous in social intercourse; but it was 
the hardest thing in his life to exercise charity in dealing with 
a man who scoffed at the Old Flag while claiming its protection. 
His grandson, George, son of Alonzo, occupies the old home- 
stead at present, being the great-great-grandson of the original 
Ephraim Tisdale, who followed his sons to Long Point so many 
years ago. Ephraim Tisdale died in 1883, in his 83rd year. 

In this branch of the Tisdale family are several leading and 
shining lights in the professions. Colonel D. Tisdale, son of 
Ephraim, is the present member for South Norfolk in the 
Dominion Parliament. He was a member of the late Tupper 
Government, holding the portfolio of Minister of Militia. In 
addition to this, he is a leading member of the Norfolk bar and 
Colonel of the 39th Battalion of Norfolk volunteers. 



ISAAC GIL-BERT was the son of an English emigrant who 
settled in the colony of New Jersey somewhere about the 
middle of last century. He was born in 1743, presumably in 
England. There are no records in the Gilbert family that 
throw any light on the history of the family previous to the 
settlement in Woodhouse ; but, according to a family tradition, 
Isaac enlisted in the British navy during the war of the 
Revolution, and was promoted to some minor official position. 
After the war closed he settled in St. John, New Brunswick, 
where he remained just a little too long to receive a U. E. Loyalist 
land grant in the new province of Upper Canada. In 1800 or 
1801, he came to Long Point settlement with his family, and 
settled on Lot 4, broken front, of Woodhouse. They came up 
the lake shore in small boats and landed at Port Ryerse. The 
Ryerson and Ryerse families had settled previously, and for 
several years following the Gilbert settlement there was a trail 
leading through the woods from the home of Colonel Samuel 
Ryerse to the log cabin of Isaac Gilbert, which was oft trav- 
ersed by the old pioneers and their families. Mr. Gilbert and 
his sons were as much entitled to a grant of land as any of 
the other U. E. Loyalists, but, unfortunately, they came too 
late to participate in the awards. They were not alone, how- 
ever, in their misfortune, as Lawrence Johnson, the old Char- 
lotteville pioneer, and several others, were equally unfortunate. 

Isaac Gilbert had three sons Roland, Isaac and Ebenezer ; 
and live daughters Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Rebecca and Abigail, 


who came with him to Long Point. His two eldest sons were 
married when they came. He was a quiet, unobtrusive man, 
and a staunch Loyalist. He died in 1822, in his 80th year, and 
his wife, Mary, died on the same day, and within an hour of 
his own death. 

Roland Gilbert, eldest son of Isaac, married Phoebe 
Thurston, in New Brunswick, and settled on Lot 2, 1st conces- 
sion, of Woodhouse. He had four sons John Thurston, Henry, 
Hiram and Charles William Milton ; and three daughters 
Hulda, Phoebe and Mary Ann. JOHN THURSTON settled near 
Fredericksburg, and raised a large family. HENKY married a 
Disbrow, settled near Vittoria, and had two sons William 
Romaine and Hiram ; and two daughters, one of whom married 
a Clunis. HIRAM was a doctor, and died single at Vienna. 
CHARLES WILLIAM MILTON was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher, 
and lived in Delhi at the time of his death. HULDA married 
William Havens, and subsequently George Jones. PHCEBE 
married Robert Havens, and settled in Charlotteville. MARY 
ANN married James Milner, a Methodist preacher. 

The pioneer mother of this family died in 1852, in her 77th 

Col. Isaac Gilbert, second son of Isaac, was born in New 
Brunswick in 1788. He married Margaret W'yckoff, whose 
family came to the settlement in advance of the Gilberts. 
Isaac settled near his father, and raised a family consisting of 
three sons John, Edmond and Edwin ; and two daughters 
Sarah and Mary. 

John, eldest son of Colonel Isaac, married Christine Smith. 
They raised a large family, two of whom only remain in Nor- 
folk Albert and Samantha, who married William Culver. 
Two or three of John's sons settled in Bay City, Mich., one of 
whom, Peter, was elected to a seat in the State Senate. 

Edmond, second son of Colonel Isaac, and the oldest living 
member of the family, married Harriet Smith, settled on the 
homestead, and is the father of one son, William Henry ; and 
three daughters Mary, Sarah Jane and Margaret. 

- t 

Edwin, youngest son of Colonel Isaac, married Minerva Siple, 
settled near the old home, and left no children. 

Sarah, eldest daughter of Colonel Isaac, married Daniel 
Hazen and settled in Woodhouse; and MAKY, the youngest 
daughter, married William Ryerse and settled in Woodhouse. 

Col. Isaac Gilbert was at the battle of Fort Erie, and also 
at Lundy's Lane. He entered service in the war of 1812 as 
an ensign and came out a captain ; and in after years was made a 
colonel in the old Norfolk militia. Colonel Gilbert was a charter- 
member, so to speak, of the first Woodhouse municipal govern- 
ment. Fifteen years before the municipal system came into 
operation, the township of Woodhouse was keeping house under 
the old " Town Commissioners' " system. A chairman, a clerk, 
an assessor, a collector and two churqh wardens were elected 
by the people to serve for one year, and the body thus formed 
was known as ''The Town Commissioners." One of the first 
" by-laws " enacted by the pioneer " Town Dads " of Wood- 
house, reads as follows : 

" All persons found drunk and staggering to-and-fro in the. 
public highway is subject to dig up a stump twelve inches in 
diameter. In case of failure, then the offender to pay five 
shillings currency." 

The wisdom of this bit of pioneer municipal legislation 
will be readily seen when the danger of navigating a public 
highway dotted with stumps, for a man found in the "wobbly " 
condition described in the by-law, is taken into consideration. 
Col. Isaac Gilbert was elected a member of this primitive 
Council as Collector and Assistant Assessor, and the minutes 
show that his brother, Major Ebanezer Gilbert, was appointed 
Pathmaster. Col. Gilbert died in 1848, in his 61st year, and 
his wife died in 1871, in her 80th year. 

Ebenezer T. Gilbert, youngest son of the original Isaac, 
was married three times. By his first wife, Catherine Clen- 
dinning, he had two daughters Lorinda and Lucinda ; by his 
second, Nancy Lemon, he had one daughter, Rosina ; and by 
his third wife, Mary Ann Potter, he had one son, Ebenezer ; 


and one daughter, Nancy. LOKINDA, LUCINDA and ROSIN A 
married, respectively, William Pilkey, Adam Shelar, and Henry 
Blake; all settled in Woodhouse. EBENEZER married Mary 
Jane Oaks, and settled on the homestead. Major Ebenezer 
died in 1871, in his 75th year, and his third wife died the 
same year, aged sixty-two years. 

Sarah Gilbert, eldest daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Platt Wood, and settled on Lot 1 9, 2nd concession of Charlotte- 
ville. Her grandson, Walter Wood, occupies the old homestead 
at present. 

Kuth Gilbert, the second daughter, married Robert McAl- 
lister, and settled in Mount Pleasant. 

Mary Gilbert, the third daughter, married John McNelley, 
and settled in Windham. 

Rebecca and Abigail, youngest daughters of the original 
Isaac, married, respectively, Alexander Lemon, and Peter 
Wyckoff, both of whom settled in Woodhouse. 



THERE were eight Tisdale brothers, seven of whom carne to 
Upper Canada. The eighth brother, Walker, remained in 
New Brunswick, where he amassed considerable wealth. The 
names of the pioneer heads of the seven Upper Canada 
branches are, Ephraim, Lot, John, William, Joseph, Samuel 
and Matthew. A sketch of the Tisdale ancestors and the 
genealogy of the Ephraim branch of the family are given else- 
where under the head, " The Three Ephraims, All Pioneers." 

The- brothers did not all come to the new country at the 
same time. Lot came first, and it is presumed that he came as 
early as 1798, as a letter written by him at Staten Island, 
dated in that year, shows that he was then on his way to Long 
Point. He states in the letter, after giving a description of 
the island, that he is about to take passage on a boat which is 
going up the Hudson as far as Albany. In 1800 he wrote a 
letter home describing a Charlotteville peach orchard, which is 
referred to more particularly elsewhere. In 1801 he went 
down to New Brunswick on a visit, and returned the same year 
accompanied by his brothers, Ephraim and William, and his 
sister, Hannah Mrs. Perley. 

Joseph came the following year, and built his pioneer cabin 
in the ravine locally known as " Spooky Hollow." In 1808, 
John, Matthew and Samuel came to the settlement, bringing 
the old people and their younger sister, Joanna, with them. 

In 1810 Joseph went to New Brunswick and married, re- 
turning with his bride and a stock of merchandise ; and soon 
after the " Tisdale Partnership " was organized for the purpose 


of carrying on a general mercantile business. This pioneer 
syndicate included four of the Tisdale brothers Samuel, Lot, 
Joseph and Matthew, and Benjamin Mead. The written articles 
of agreement forming the fundamental law of this mercantile 
combine have been carefully preserved, and they show that' the 
members bound themselves, under an indemnifying penalty of 
40,000, to observe the rules and regulations embodied in the 
agreement for the space of ten years. The amount of capital 
furnished by each was as follows: Samuel, 200; Lot and 
Joseph, 168 and 15 shillings in cash, and 25 barrels of flour, 
at 5 per barrel; Matthew, 37 and 10 shillings ; and Benjamin 
Mead, 42 in cash, 50 barrels of flour at 5 per barrel, and a 
draft on one, Stewart, of Niagara, for 2. The draft was not 
accepted, however, and Mr. Mead's interest was reduced to the 
extent of its appraised value. It was agreed that each partner 
should share the profits and losses in proportion to the amount 
of capital furnished by him, and that no partner should pay 
any private debt of his own out of the partnership assets. Lot 
Tisdale, Joseph Tisdale, and Mr. Mead were constituted "agents" 
for managing the business. 

Just two weeks from the day they went into the woods to 
get out the timber for the construction of their store the build- 
ing was completed and the store in running order. This old 
store building is still standing and its massive frame is abund- 
antly able to withstand the fury of the elements for centuries 
to come. It stands a few rods back from its original site, 
forming a woodhouse attachment to the Joseph Tisdale family 
residence just east of Vittoria. 

In 1812 Joseph Tisdale built the two-story frame house in 
the " hollow," which stood vacant and silent in the midst of its 
lonely surroundings for so many years after it was vacated by 
the family. When Mr. Tisdale built this house, with its 
massive chimney and its many fireplaces, it was christened 
' Cedar Hall," and was looked upon by the settlers at that 
early time as a residence of magnificent proportions. Mr. 
Tisdale built a tannery at this place, and operated it several 



years. In 18 14 he and his brothers purchased Lot 21 in the 
3rd concession, from James Russell; and, in 1816, built the 
" old red mill." Joseph Tisdale was a shrewd business man, 
and accumulated considerable wealth. In 1834 he was con- 
sidered one of the largest landowners in Charlotteville. He 
was a firm Loyalist, and was promoted to a captaincy in the 
first Norfolk militia. He died in 1864, having reached the 
ripe old age of eighty-six years. 

Lot Tisdale married Nancy Swain, and, after the "syndi- 
cate : ' was dissolved, settled in Ancaster. Subsequently, lie 


settled in Burford. He had five sons Bradford, George, Lot, 
William and John ; and seven daughters Maria, Charlotte, 
Elizabeth, Sarah, Rebecca, Susan and Amanda. 

Joseph Tisdale married Margaret Lawrence, of New Bruns- 
wick. The children of this union were four sons Joseph O, 
Valentine H, .John E. and William P. ; and six daughters- 
Miranda L.,' Philena M., Margaret Jane, Frances Almira, Helen 
W. R. and Hannah Eliza. 

William Tisdale settled below Hamilton, where he raised a 
large family. His wife's mother exchanged the land on which 
the city of Hamilton is built for a barrel of pork. 


Samuel Tisdale married Charlotte Lawrence, and settled 
near Ancaster also. He left two sons and two daughters. 

Matthew Tisdale married Abigail Axford, and when the 
partnership interests were closed out he went into Townsend, 
but finally settled in St. Thomas. He had two sons Cyrus 
and Wallace ; and five daughters Sarah, Susan, Martha, 
Mary Ann and Amelia. 

John Tisdale married Sarah Britton in New Brunswick. 
He settled in Windham and had three sons John, Ephraim 
and William; and eight daughters Mary, Jane, Charlotte, 
Margaret, Maria, Ruth, Susan and Harriet. He died in 1841, 
in his 73rd year, and his wife Sarah died in 1850 in her 67th 

Hannah Tisdale, eldest sister of the Tisdale brothers, 
married Israel .Perley in New Brunswick. She came to Long 
Point a widow, with her three children Ephraim Tisdale, 
Ch.irles Strange and Elizabeth Moore. These children were 
brought up by their uncle, Joseph Tisdale. Ephraim T. settled 
near Courtland, and Charles S settled in Burford. 

Joanna Tisdale, sister of Hannah, married one Ellsworth 
and settled in Yarmouth. She had two sons Ephraim and 
William and four daughters. 

The old blotter used in the Tisdale store has been preserved, 
and from its time-stained pages the following entries are copied 
to show the prices obtained for merchandise at that early 
time : 

Mrs. Duncan McCall. 
To 2 bowls @ 2/6=31 cts. 

James Jewell. 
To 2 yds. factory cotton @ 5/ = 62| cts. 

John Franklin. 
To^lb. tea @ U{ = $1.75. 

Stephen Underhill. 
To \ Ib. tobacco @ 6/ - 75 cts. 


Daniel Berdan. 

To 1 pr. wool cards @ 10/ = 81.25. 

2yds. flannel @ 6/6 =,81 cts. 

4 skeins silk @ I/ = 12^ cts. 

1 pitcher @ 12/ = $1.50. 

Ca'eb Wood 
To J yd, cashmere @ 18/ = $2.25. 

Jacob Wood. 

To 3 IbH. sugar @ 1/6 = 18} cts. 

^lb. pepper @ 5/ = 62J cts. 

James Cram. 
To J Ib. alspice @ 5/ = 62| cts. 

Francis L Welch. 
To 2 oz. indigo @ 36/ per !b. = $4.60. 

Mr. Cromwell. 

To 1 yd. brown coating 211 = $2.62. 

1^ yds. Turkey stripe @ 6/ = 75 cts. 

Christopher Oaks. 
To 1 Ib. nails @ 3/ = 37| cts. 

Richard Lanning. 
By 6 bush. 5j Ibs. Rye @ 12/ = $1.50. 

Abraham Smith. 
By 1 cwt. rye flour @ 34/ = $4.25. 

The unit price is marked in shillings and pence, New York 
currency the form " 2/6 " being the old style of book entry, 
meaning two shillings and sixpence. In the entries quoted 
the equivalent of the unit price is given in dollars and cents. 
From this old blotter we learn also that common laborers 
received $1 per day, and hence all a man was able to earn in 
a day at that time was a little more than a yard and a half of 
factory cotton, or a pound and a half of pepper. He would 
have to work nearly two days for a pound of tea, and a whole 
week for as much sugar as he can now buy for a dollar and a 


The descendants of the Tisdale family, as well as the 
general reader, are indebted to the daughters of Joseph Tisdale 
Mrs. Dr. Palmer and Miss Margaret J. Tisdale for much 
valuable data incorporated in these sketches. These ladies, 
with the daughters of Mrs. Palmer Miss Charlotte J. and Miss 
Maggie E. occupy the old home at Vittoria, and they have in 
their possession a most interesting collection of old papers and 
choice old heirlooms. In this collection may be seen New 
Brunswick newspapers and other publications more than a 
hundred years old. They have the first genuine china tea set 
that was brought into the settlement. During the Me Arthur 
raid in the war of 1812, Mrs. Joseph Tisdale secreted this tea- 
set in the bogs among the cedars. They have also the crude 
bedsteads and tables made by the pioneer brothers and used in 
their primitive log cabins. A dress made for Hannah Tisdale 
in New Brunswick a hundred and eighteen years ago, and the 
" punch-dipper " made by father Ephraim, and used by him 
when he plowed the " raging main," are among the heirlooms. 
In fact, it would require a whole chapter to enumerate all the 
curios contained in this collection. 

But it is the old family papers that are of special interest to 
the descendants of the Tisdale family. They are the family 
records of the dead and buried past. They reveal glimpses of 
the Tisdale inner life, their love of virtue, their warm attach- 
ment to home, their abhorence of ignorance and vulgarity, 
their proud ambition to make their mark in the world, and 
their affection for each other. These papers show how, and 
with whom, they did business; and they show that every 
move made, although not always successful, was clear, open, 
frank and straightforward. " Cedar Hall " was made notorious 
after the family of Joseph Tisdale moved into the village, by 
the babblings of a few ignorant, superstitious people that did 
great injustice to the family. 

In this old mass of papers Joseph Tisdale and his brothers 
have left a record behind them which should be a matter of 
proud satisfaction to their descendants. 




THE First Regular Baptist Church of Charlotteville, in 
Vi'ttoria, is the pioneer society of that denomination in Norfolk 
County. True, the old Boston church assumed a definite form 
the same year, 1804, yet it was not formally organized until the 
following year, when a delegation from Charlotteville were in 

In 1798 Elder Titus Finch came to the settlement. Previous 
to this he had joined a Baptist church in a back settlement in 
Nova Scotia, and had been ordained by them to preach the 
Gospel. When he settled in Charlotteville the settlers were 
few and far between ; but he was an indefatigable worker in 
the Master's vineyard, and for six years following the date of 
his arrival, he co-operated with the American missionaries that 
occasionally visited the settlement, in the promulgation of the 
Gospel. In fact, during these years Elder Finch did a purely 
missionary work, but in 1804? a sufficient quantity of material 
had been gathered to form a Baptist society and the organiza- 
tion became a matter of history. 

Unfortunately, the minutes of this old pioneer church, for 
the first sixteen years of its existence, have not been preserved ; 
and that portion of its history, therefore, which is most 
essential to the purposes of this work, has disappeared with 
those who made it. Among the few old papers which have not 
been lost are a number of receipts for payments of subscription 
sums on " meeting-house account," and a deed for the acre of 
land on which to build a " meeting-house," and in which to bury 
the dead. The deed bears date, January 3rd, 1807, and was 
made by Oliver Mabee, to Peter Teeple and Lawrence Johnson, 
Trustees, in consideration of two pounds and ten shillings, to 


be used by the Baptist Society of Charlotteville in connection 
with the Shaftsbury Association, for church purposes solely. 
The conveyance was witnessed by Richard Lanning and Joseph 
Merrill. The subscription receipts are dated in Woodhouse 
and signed by Daniel Ross, and are as follows : " Samuel 
Smith, 527 Ibs. of wheat; Oliver Mabee, five bushels of rye; 
Thomas Smith, 3, N. Y. currency ; Lawrence Johnson, 1 16s. ; 
Robert Shearer, 8, and another for 14 7s. 9d. ; John Gustin, 
5 ; Joseph Merrill, 28s. 2d, and two others in favor of Samuel 
Smith. These receipts bear the date, 1809 ; but there is nothing 
to show when, by whom, or at what expense, the " meeting- 
house " was built. It was a commodious structure for those 
times, however, and superseded the original log structure. It 
was furnished with a three-sided gallery. The young people 
who used to attend the singing schools in that old meeting- 
house were the parents and grandparents of our fathers and 
mothers, and they lived in a world that passed away before our 
world came into existence. 

Among the constituent members of 1804, were the follow- 
ing : Elder Finch and wife, Lawrence Johnson and wife, John 
Gustin and wife, Peter Teeple and wife, Oliver Mabee and 
wife, Richard Lanning and wife, Joseph Merrill and wife, 
Samuel Smith and wife, Thomas Smith, Robert Shearer and 
wife, Abraham Smith and wife, Solomon Smith, Andrew 
McCleish and wife, and Levi Montross and wife. It was the 
custom in those days for Elder Finch to preach a " harvest 
sermon " each season, at which time the sturdy settlers held a 
" harvest festival " of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the in- 
gathering of the harvest. This is a grand old English custom, 
and is celebrated at the present time by numerous Baptist 
churches in the great American Republic. 

In the early days of the settlement, His Majesty's Justices 
of the Peace, who sat on the judicial bench in the kitchen of 
Job Loder's tavern at Turkey Point, commissioned to administer 
the affairs of London District according to law, refused to 
grant licenses to marry to all dissenting ministers of the 
Gospel. This caused a good deal of hard feeling, which paved 


the way for a more liberal construction and administration of 
the laws. The old court journal contains the following entry 
bearing date June 9th, 1807 : 

" Lawrence Johnson, John Gustin, Samuel Smith, Robert 
Shearer, Robert Henderson, Thomas Smith and John Stone, 
members of the Baptist society, declare the Rev. Titus Finch 
to be their ordained minister. 

" The Court unamiously agree that the Rev. Titus Finch 
shall have license to marry people agreeable to the statutes of 
the Province in that case made and provided." 

From the old church book, commencing in June, 1820, the 
following historical matters have been gleaned : 

June 2nd, 1820 Church granted liberty to George J. 
Ryerse to exhort and expound the Scriptures when he thought 
proper. Oliver Mabee was church clerk from 1820 to 1827, 
and was succeeded by Geo. J. Ryerse. 

August 4th, 1827 Liberty was granted to Lawrence John- 
son, junior, to exhort and expound the Scriptures when he felt 
it his duty to do so. 

October 6th, 1827 Resolved, " Not to receive an accusation 
against any member but in writing, signed by the complainant, 
and that after the regular steps had been taken as pointed out 
in Matthew, 18th chapter." 

November 8th, 1827 Lawrence Johnson, sen. ; Lawrence 
Johnson, jun. ; Samuel Smith ; Ben. Palmerston ; Oliver Mabee ; 
and Geo. Ryerse were delegated to attend an ordination council 
at Catfish Creek church, to ordain Samuel Baker. 

In the fall of 1827, and following winter, a large number 
were added to the church by the evangelizing work of Elders 
William McDermand, Joseph Merrill and Simon Mabee. 

October 6th, 1828, the Walsingham church was organized 
and set off. Council convened at the house of Michael Troyer. 
Elder McDermand preached the sermon and Elder Merrill gave 
hand of fellowship. 

June 6th, 1829 George J. Ryerse was ordained. South wold 
church was represented by Elder McDermand ; Walsingham 

church by Deacon M. Troyer ; Bayham church by Elder Merrill: 


Malahide church by Elder Baker, and Townsend church by 
Elder Harris. After ordination the newly-made Elder baptized 
Hannah Clark. 

June 5th, 1830 Thirteen members were set off and organized 
into a new church at Stony Creek. 

July 28th It was resolved, " That any member absenting 
himself from covenant meeting or communion (which is to be 
held monthly) shall be enquired after or visited by order of the 
church." It was also resolved at this meeting that the deacons 
be authorized " To tax the members according to their ability." 

September 1st, 1832 Elder McDermand was engaged for 
one-third of his time at the rate of $100 per annum. 

January 26th, 1835 Elder J. Stewart was engaged for the 
ensuing year at $150, with house and garden. 

March 28th A petition was received from Peter Mabee, Fred 
Sovereign and twenty-three others, praying to be set off as a 
separate church in Middleton Fredericksburg. 

January 20th, 1836 A request was granted to a number of 
members in the Kern settlement to be set off as a separate church. 
This church was organized Feb. 27th, with forty-one members. 
December 5th It was resolved " To give Elder William Smith 
a call to preach every other Sunday for one year at not less 
than $50." Elder Smith replied as follows : " Will not engage 
for any length of time or for any fixed sum of money ; but will 
endeavor to attend every first and third Lord's Day in the 
month as long as the church manifests a disposition to attend 
the ministry and God is pleased to bless it to the good of the 
people ; and whatever the church feels disposed from time to 
time to give me, while my circumstances require it, will be re- 
ceived with thankfulness." 

August 27th, 1837 Oliver Mabee, Levi Churchell and David 
Bowers were appointed delegates to sit in council with Bayham 
church in the ordination of Shook McConnell. 

March 13th, 1839 Elder Mabee was engaged as pastor for 
one year at $150. 

November 1st A council was convened for the ordination of 
Samuel Smith. Walsingham sent Elder McDermand, Deacon 


M. Troyer, Deacon Cornelius Dedrick and Tyler Brown. Mid- 
dleton sent Deacon F. Sovereign, Deacon William McLennen, 
and John Putman. 2nd Charlotteville sent Deacon Ben. 
Palmerston, Deacon Lawrence Johnson and Deacon Joseph 
Kitchen. It was decided not to ordain Mr. Smith at that 
time. Shortly afterwards he was granted a travelling letter. 

February 1st, 1841 Elder McDermand was engaged to 
devote two-thirds of his time with the church for one year at 

November 27th A. C. Barrell, of Fredonia, N.Y., was 
engaged for one year at $300, with house, garden and fuel. 

In the winter of 1842-3 a series of "exhibitions" were held 
in the neighborhood, and the Church took exception to them as 
evidenced by the following resolutions : Resolved, " That the 
exhibitions performed of late in some of the school-houses, by 
the youth of our country and some of our church members, are 
very detrimental to the peace and progress of religion in the 
human heart : 

Resolved, " Therefore, that every member performing or 
attending any of the above-mentioned exhibitions, will be con- 
sidered guilty of committing capital crime against the Church 
and will be treated as such." 

September 17th, 1844 It was resolved to send Deacon 
Joseph Kitchen, Deacon Peter Mabee and Daniel Smith as a 
delegation to meet sister churches in Oxford, " to organize a 
system on which to establish an educational institution in this 
Province." At this same meetino- Deacon Mabee was authorized 


to procure a candle-box and purchase a half-dozen candlesticks. 

In June, 1848 Abraham Duncan was engaged as pastor. 
Shortly afterwards he was ordained. In this same month Elder 
Duncan, Deacon Daniel Smith, Deacon Samuel Smith, John 
Shearer, David Shearer and Oliver Mabee, jun., were deputized 
to sit in council with sister churches, at the request of the 
Fredericksburg church, in the ordination of William McLennen. 
Of this delegation, Oliver Mabee is the sole survivor. 

January 3rd, 1849 The following significant resolution was 
placed upon the church book : Resolved, " That in the exercise 


of political rights professed by the members of this church, it 
will from henceforward be no reproach to their Christian 
standing in the Church." 

January 10th, 1851 The first meeting was called to "take 
into consideration the necessity and Christian duty of building 
a new house of worship." Deacons Smith, Shearer and Mabee 
were appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions. They met 
with success, and Deacon D. B. Smith, Deacon Oliver Mabee, 
jun., Thomas Lamport, Alex. Teeple, Peter Young, Albert Ter- 
hune, and Wm. H. Ryerse were appointed a committee of seven 
to superintend the construction of the new church. The new 
church was dedicated May 30th, 1852. Of this committee, 
Mabee and Ryerse are the sole survivors. 

Previous to June 13th, 1820, about forty names were included 
in the list of membership. This was the period during which 
Elder Finch performed the most of his pioneer work. Between 
this date and June 10th, 1840, 149 persons were baptized 51 
by Elder George Ryerse ; 44 by Elder Wm. McDermand ; 21 by 
Elder Simon Mabee ; 20 by Elder Samuel Baker; 10 by Elder 
Isaac Elliott ; 3 by Elder Joseph Merrill ; 2 by Elder William 
Smith ; 1 by Elder Finch ; and 1 by Elder Stewart. In Novem- 
ber and December, 1848, 62 persons were baptized by Elder 
Duncan and Elder George Wilson. Between March 16th, 1862, 
and April 12th, 1863, Rev. T. Baldwin baptized 52 persons ; and 
during January and February, 1867, Elder Vining baptized 14 

Rev. H. Cocks baptized 65 converts between December 26th, 
1869, and January 12th, 1873; and Rev. T. Sinclair baptized 
34 between April 6th, 1873, and April 23rd, 1875. 

Ninety-three years ago the first Baptist church was organ- 
ized in Norfolk County. To-day, there are thirty Baptist 
churches in the county, having a total membership of 3,028 
persons. From the membership of the old mother church at 
Vittoria material has been taken from time to time to organize 
some four or five new churches. To-day, her membership num- 
bers 181. J. W. Chad wick is the present clerk, and Rev. 
Thomas Shields is the present pastor. 



AMONG the Methodist pioneers of old Long Point country 
no name occupies a more prominent place than that of James 
Matthews. During the troublous times of the Revolution, 
Joseph Ryerson and Mr. Matthews were warm friends and 
fellow Loyalists, and they came to Upper Canada about the same 
time. Mr. Matthews took up his U. E. Loyalist grant on Lyons' 
Creek, in the Niagara district, but his friends induced him to 
exchange it for land in Long Point settlement. The exchange 
was made for Lot 3 in the Gore of Woodhouse, where he settled 
and reared his family. Here was established one of the first 
Methodist homes in Norfolk, and here were held many of the 
early Methodist pioneer meetings which culminated in the 
organization of the first Methodist society in the county. This 
pioneer society has now its third church edifice standing where 
its predecessors stood just north of the old Matthews' home- 

James Matthews was of English and Scotch descent, and 
his wife's people were Dutch. He fought for George III. in 
the war of the Revolution, as a cavalryman, but there are no 
family records in existence from which anything further can 
be learned of the family history previous to the settlement 

The pioneer experiences of the family during the log-cabin 
era of Norfolk's history were the common experiences of all. 
All were exposed to hardships, and there were few, indeed, who 
did not suffer cruel privations. 


The late Holmes Matthews, seventh son of the old pioneer, 
who lived about twenty years beyond the " three score and 
ten " limit, said, while speaking of the old times : 

" It seems to me that the greatest sin of which the young 
people nowadays are guilty, is that of ingratitude. Instead of 
properly appreciating the wonderful advantages which it is 
their blessed privilege to enjoy, they grumble at this and find 
fault with that, and imagine that life, somehow, has lost all of 
its charms. Because a bushel of wheat will no longer command 
a dollar, and everything else has depreciated accordingly, they 
have got the idea into their heads that the struggle for exist- 
ence has almost reached the line where patience ends and 
despair begins. Why. my father used to carry five bushels of 
wheat on the back of a horse through the woods all the way 
down to the Short Hills, in the Niagara district, to get it 
ground. In those days we didn't get even bread to eat three 
times a day that was made of wheat flour. Talk about the low 
price of wheat ? Why, I remember when father hauled wheat 
through mud-holes, up sand-hills, and over corduroy roads, all 
the way to Job Loder's mill at Waterford, and sold it for two 
York shillings a bushel half in trade and the other half in 
cash to pay taxes with ; and the trade was calico at four shil- 
lings a yard, and everything else in proportion. Young people 
nowadays don't know anything about hard times." 

May the young men of Norfolk ponder well these words of 
a man whose life extended back to an age that is being too 
soon forgotten, and be led to prize more highly the patrimonial 
possessions which have been handed down to them possessions 
which cost their grandsires so much self-denial and cruel 

James Matthews was a member of old London District's 
first court jury, which sat at the house of James Monroe, April 
8th, 1800. During the war of 1812 he served with his team in 
the transportation of army supplies. He died in 1818, having 
reached his 96th year. It is said he walked up to Windham 
the day before his ninetieth birthday and returned the follow- 
ing day. 


Mrs. Matthews nee Margaret Forse, drew land in Wood- 
house in her own right as the wife of a U. E. Loyalist. She 
died in 1839 in her 74th year. They had seven sons John, 
James, Philip, George, Samuel, Adam and Holmes ; and three 
daughters Sarah, Ann and Amy. 

John Matthews, eldest son of James, married Eliza Hazen, 
and settled in Windham, and subsequently in Charlotteville. 
He served in the war of 1812, and received a gun-shot wound 
in his knee at the battle of Lundy's Lane. John W. Matthews, 
who served in the Charlotteville Council six years, is a son of 
John, and one of our leading citizens. He has resided on Lot 8, 
in the 9th concession for fifty-four years, and was one of the 
pioneers in his section of the township. James Matthews, 
second son of James, married Maria Buchner, and settled in 
Walsingham, where he raised a family. 

Philip Matthews, third son of James, settled in Michigan. 
Philip also served in the war of 1812. 

George Matthews, fourth son of James, was born about the 
time the family came to Long Point. He married Jane Hazen, 
and settled in Woodhouse. He had four sons George, John, 
Caleb and Adam Clark ; and four daughters Mary, Margaret, 
Phoebe and Elizabeth. George Matthews, the father of this 
family, was too young to serve at the breaking out of the war 
of 1812, but before it closed he was in the ranks. He died in 
1860 in his 62nd year, and his wife in 1855 in her 56th year. 

Samuel Matthews, fifth son of James, married Margaret 
White, and settled in Woodhouse. 

Adam Matthews, sixth son of James, married Charlotte, 
sister of Albert Toms, and settled on part of the old homestead. 
Adam had one daughter, Elizabeth, who remained single. She 
occupies the old home. 

Holmes Matthews, youngest son of James, married Maria, 
daughter of Benjamin Mead. He settled on part of the old 
homestead, and had a family of three sons George W., William 
and James. Mr. Matthews was a captain in the old militia, 
and during the rebellion he served in the Norfolk battalion of 


troops, as lieutenant in Captain Wilson's company. His com- 
pany was with Colonel McNab on the frontier, and Mr. Matthews 
says that Captain Wilson was one of the party under Captain 
Drew that sent the Caroline over the falls. While McNab 
was at Scotland with a detachment of the forces in pursuit of 
Duncombe and his followers, two brothers, by the name of 
Walker, deserted the ranks, refusing to surrender their small 
arms and threatening to shoot down any one who molested 
them. They lived not far away, and were considered desperate 
characters ; and when a call was made for volunteers to go to 
their homes and capture the arms, no one responded. Finally, 
Holmes Matthews said that if one of the Havilands would 
accompany him he would undertake the job. Haviland volun- 
teered, and the two succeeded in making the capture without 
bloodshed. Holmes Matthews was one of the very few men 
living in Norfolk in 1897, whose father fought in the war of the 
Revolution. In his younger days he enjoyed the reputation of 
being a good shot, and among the many good hunting stories 
he tells is the following : 

" I don't b'lieve in tellin' yarns, but I s'pose I can tell the 
biggest bear story ye ever heard. I killed a bear once with a 
single bullet at one shot an' put five holes in the bears hide ! 
Yes, sir, when I skinned that bear there were five holes in the 
hide all made by that one bullet. How did it happen ? Well, 
I'll tell ye all about it. Me an' brother Samuel was cleanin' 
buckwheat in the field when we saw a big lubberly bear 
comin' towards us through the corn. I had my gun and dog 
with me, but the gun was loaded with shot and I had .no 
bullets with rne. The dog made for 'im, but the bear was a 
big feller, an' he cuffed the dog about without the least worry. 
I told Sam to go to the house for a bullet an' me an' the dog 
would tree the bear while he was gone. I kept the dog at 'im 
'til he showed the white feather, an' that meant a retreat up 
the nearest tree. W T hen he got to the fence the fun began. 
When he tried to climb over the dog would seize 'im by one of 
his hind legs, an' then the bear would fall back an' knock the 


dog over, an' try it agin. Once he tried to climb over the fence 
backwards, but he made a failure of it. At last he succeeded 
in scalin' the fence, an' as he did so I let him have the charge 
of shot which sent him up a tree. When Sam got back I 
rammed down the bullet. He lay in the crotch of the tree, 
pretty well up, an' partially hidden by the thick leaves on the 
branches of the tree. He lay all doubled up, an' after a careful 
examination of the situation, I let 'im have it, when down he 
came, kerplunk, on the ground. The ball passed through his 
neck, one leg, and entered his body and penetrated his heart." 

Sarah Matthews, eldest daughter of James, married .John 
Butler, and settled in Woodhouse. 

Ann Matthews, the second daughter, married Daniel Hazen, 
and settled in Oakland. 

Amy Matthews, youngest daughter of James, married 
George Warwick, by whom she had one daughter, Margaret, 
who married Charles Wheeler, and settled in Michigan. Sub- 
sequently Mrs. Warwick married Jacob Buchner, jun., and 
settled in Woodhouse. 

Jacob Buchner, jun., was a son of Jacob Buchner, the old 
Woodhouse pioneer, who settled near Port Ryerse soon after 
James Matthews came to the settlement. The elder Buchner 
was a fellow- worker with Mr. Matthews in the cause of 
Methodism, being one of the original members of the first 
society. He was also a member of Norfolk's first court jury, 
that sat at the house of James Monroe, Charlotteville, as 
before stated, on the 8th day of April, 1800. 

The Buchner family suffered their share of the hardships 
that fell to the lot of all who came into the wilds of Norfolk 
without means, before the close of last century. A rude 
shanty, with blankets and the skins of animals hung up as 
substitutes for doors and windows such was the Buchner 
home at first. The wolves were numerous, and Mrs. Buchner 
found it necessary to keep a loaded gun by her side when left 
alone, so that, when annoyed by them, she might at least frighten 
them away by discharging its contents at them. In this 


pioneer family of Buchners were five sons Philip, John, Shelar, 
Jacob and James ; and four daughters Ann, Margaret, Clarissa 
and Jane. Jacob Buchner, sen., died in 1841, in his 79th year ; 
and his wife, Catherine, died in 1855, in her 88th year. 

Philip Buchner, son of Jacob, married and settled in 
Michigan, where he raised a family. 

John Buchner, second son of Jacob, settled in Walpole, 
where he raised a family. 

Shelar Buchner, third son of Jacob, married Martha Bink- 
ley, of Dundas, and settled on part of the homestead. He had 
three sons -John, William and George ; and four daughters 
Nancy, Sarah, Ann and Mary. Jacob Buchner, fourth son of 
Jacob, married Mrs. Amy Warwick nee Amy Matthews, and 
settled, finally, in Houghton, where he died. He had one son, 
Mark ; and six daughters Sarah, Matilda, Martha, Catherine, 
Mary and Eliza. The son succeeded to the Houghton 

James Buchner, fifth son of Jacob settled in Houghton 
also, where he raised a family. 

Of the daughters of Jacob Buchner, sen., MARGARET 
married Jacob Jewell, and settled in Woodhouse ; CLARISSA 
married George Ritenor, and settled in Woodhouse ; and JANE 
married Thomas Chapman, and settled in Woodhouse. In the 
Chapman family were four sons Jacob, George, William and 
James ; and four daughters Catherine, Elizabeth, Martha and 



AWAY back in the early days of old Long Point settlement, 
before there was any occasion to organize a court to " hear and 
determine divers felonies, trespasses and other misdemeanors," 
a man appeared on the scene who was destined to play an 
important part in the pioneer work of the settlement, and 
stamp his name indelibly on the first page of Norfolk's history. 
This man's name was Job Loder, a native of Sussex County, 
New Jersey, and a millwright and house-builder by trade. In 
addition to this he possessed good business qualifications, and 
was industrious, ambitious and honest. A man of this char- 
acter ought to prosper anywhere ; but it seems that Mr. 
Loder's business adventures in his native State were not 
crowned with success. He became hopelessly involved in debt, 
and, in order to get out of the difficulty he ran awaj^, it is said, 
and came to Upper Canada. Is this the " leading and shining 
example?" I hear the reader ask. Wait until you hear the 
story. This happened a hundred years ago, before the flicker- 
ing rays of the torch of modern civilization had penetrated 
the human skull. It happened in the days of barbarism, when 
a man who, through misfortune, became unable to meet his 
pecuniary obligations promptly and fully, might be thrown 
into a dungeon, and his wife and little ones left to starve or 
subsist on cold, clammy charity. It happened in an age when 
the dead body of a man might be seized by a creditor, and 
taken from his weeping family and exposed in a public place, 
like a carcase in a butcher's shambles, until the debt was paid ; 
and it happened at a time when men and women were hanged 


like dogs for the crime of theft. Nowadays, a man may fail 
in business whenever he feels like it, and by compromising 
with his creditors on a 17 per cent, basis, start up again 
on a grander scale than ever. If Job Loder were in business 
to-day in New Jersey, and misfortune overtook him, as it did 
a hundred years ago, the law would not permit his creditors 
to put their hands on his home if it did not exceed $1,000 in 
value, and it would compel them to leave him $200 worth of 
personal property besides ; and whatever might be left over 
and above these exemptions they would be compelled to take 
in full satisfaction of their claims, provided the debtor was a 
fit and proper subject for the benefits arising from the Insolv- 
ency Laws. 

Job Loder did not take " French leave " of his creditors in 
New Jersey for the purpose of defrauding them ; he left them 
in order that he might be able some day to pay them every cent 
he owed them. That day came before the century had passed 
its second decade. 

The new settlement was a profitable field in which to exer- 
cise the splendid abilities he possessed, and he prospered from 
the very start. When he had made a sufficient amount of 
money to pay off his old debts in New Jersey, he advertised 
that he would be at the Court house in Newton on a certain 
date to settle in full with his old creditors. Did he do it ? It 
is said that he did ; and in that noble act he became a " bright 
and shining example " for all men who would prove to the world 
that they place a higher value on their personal honor than 
they do on a plethoric pocket-book. Every creditor received 
one hundred cents for every dollar of claim, with interest. 
These old claims were non-collectable here indeed, they were 
outlawed in New Jersey and their liquidation, therefore, was 
purely optional on his part. His business failure had been 
brought about by no fault of his ; and the law, by lapse of time, 
had forgiven the debts ; but the moral obligation, which was 
of too high a nature to be effected by any statute of human 
creation, remained ; and, as fortune had given him the means, 


he could not, as an honest man, withhold it from its rightful 
owners. Simply performed his duty as an honest man ? Yes ; 
but how many business men in this year of grace, 1897, would 
be able to stand a test of this kind ? The almighty dollar is 
the " fire " that tries men's souls in these times. Is it not true 
that all men pass current to-day, as honest men, who claim all 
that the law allows, and who tighten their grip on everything 
that the Law will not compel them to give up ? Job Loder's 
honesty was measured by his conscience in the sight of God, 
and not by the limitations or prohibitions of a humanly 
devised statute book. 

After Mr. Loder had finished his business affairs in New 
Jersey, he purchased the finest covered carriage in the market, 
and rode out of the State in it. It was the finest turn-out that 
came into Long Point settlement up to that time ; and it is safe 
to assert that no man ever enjoyed a 500-mile carriage ride 
with a keener relish than did Mr. Loder on that occasion. How 
different from the first leave-taking of his native State ! How 
brightly the sun shone, and what a melody of music came from 
the feathered songsters, as he drove through the forest ! How 
gently was he rocked by the springing steel beneath his cush- 
ioned seat, as the carriage rolled over the rough and uneven 
way ; and how his heart swelled with emotions of gratitude as 
he looked up through the tree-tops into the ethereal blue beyond, 
and thought of what he had accomplished in the past and what 
he hoped to accomplish in the future, in the new country which 
he had adopted as his own. 

In 1803 Job Loder kept a tavern in the " Town of Char- 
lotteville," as Turkey Point was called at that time. In that 
year Mr. Loder's tavern was made judicial headquarters for all 
London District, and the courts were held there until a court- 
house was built. Three years previous to this, Levi Comber 
had taken a contract to build a jail and court-house at the 
" Town of Charlotte ville" for 312 10s. Od., but he failed to carry 
out his contract. On December 10th, 1803, Mr. Loder contracted 
to build a jail and court-house at Turkey Point for 250, and 


he was appointed jailer at a salary of 25 a year. The jail 
was built of logs, but the court-house was a frame structure. 

Job Loder built most of the pioneer mills in the settlement, 
including the Finch mill that preceded the Cross & Fisher 
mill, and the old original Gustin mill east of Vittoria. Early 
in the century he went to Waterford where he purchased the 
mill and enlarged it, built a sawmill and engaged in merchan- 
dising. Israel W. Powell was a clerk in Mr. Loder's store at 
this time. When Ephraim T. Perley built his Burford mill, 
Mr. Loder put money in the enterprise, and the result was, 
that owing to financial embarrassment on the part of Mr. 
Perley, the mill passed into the hands of Mr. Loder's son. 

At the beginning of the second quarter of the century we 
find Job Loder in possession of a mill near Ancaster run by 
water drawn from three mill ponds. As at Waterford, he carried 
on a mercantile business in connection with the milling business. 
In 1827 he was visited by an old Long Point friend, and he 
informed his visitor that it was his intention to go into Hamil- 
ton, build a steamboat, and put himself in a position where he 
could meet competition successfully. " Do you think you can 
make a success of your steamboat scheme ? " asked his friend. 
'' Make a success of it ? " replied the intrepid Job, " did you 
ever know me to undertake anything in this country that I did 
not carry to a successful issue ? " In 1829 he went into Hamil- 
ton in pursuance of his plans, but the steamboat proved an 
elephant on his hands, and he lost money in the undertaking. 

Among the early names in the pioneer history of our county, 
that of Job Loder will ever occupy a prominent and highly- 
honored place. It is one of the early familiar names that 
stands for individual honor, business capacity and business 



JUST a century of the world's history has been completed 
since William Franklin came to Long Point. He was not a 
U. E. Loyalist and, consequently, did not draw land or receive 
any other favors from the Government. He was of English 
descent, and came from the State of Connecticut. He was an 
American, and as captain of a company of American militia- 
men, had fought for independence in the war of the Revolution. 
After the war he retired to his home in Connecticut, where he 
operated a ferry at a point on the Thames River, supposed to 
be the place where the town of Franklin now stands. In 1797 
he came to Upper Canada with his family of seven children 
and his son-in-law, Hamilton Woodroof. Like many other 
American families that came to Long Point the Franklins were 
not prompted by political motives. In 1790 the population of 
Connecticut was 238,141, and in 1870 it was only 537,454, 
the increase during all this time being barely 1J per cent, 
per annum. A result so anomalous, where the general popu- 
lation doubles itself every twenty-five years, is creditably 
explained by the fact that to all the new States of the Union, 
and the provinces of Canada, Connecticut has uniformly been 
a nursery of educated men of every class of merchants and 
agriculturists, of lawyers and statesmen. The quota furnished 
by the little wooden nutmeg State, in the settlement of Upper 
Canada, although considerably less than that furnished by New 
Jersey and other States, has been a creditable one. A down- 
east " Yankee " may be given somewhat to " sharp " practices, 
which fail to harmonize with the conservative notions of honest 


old John Bull, yet a sprinkling of him is a valuable acquisition 
in every community. He is industrious, enterprising and pro- 
gressive, and no man can live by the side of him without being 
influenced, more or less, by the spirit of economical thrift that 
so signally characterizes him. William Franklin did not come 
to Upper Canada because he hated the New Flag which bore 
thirteen bright stars, and for which he had fought. Political 
matters had nothing to do with it. He came to Long Point 
settlement because it was a new country and a good country, 
and because the chances for securing homes for himself and his 
children were all that might be desired. He fought for inde- 
pendence because that meant freedom from an unjust and un- 
holy anti-British system of taxation, which was an outrage to 
the true spirit of British institutions. Indeed, the record that 
William Franklin and many other American pioneers of Nor- 
folk have left behind them, prove that the men who took up 
arms to resist that iniquitous stamp tax were not, necessarily, 
unfriendly or disloyal to British institutions. There is not a 
true son of Britain, to-day, in any portion of the empire, who 
would not resist to the uttermost a like imposition. 

Captain Franklin finally settled on Lot. 14, 1st concession of 
Walsingham, and was a shoemaker by trade. He died about 
the year 1827, honored and respected by all who knew him. 
He left five sons Benjamin, George, Augustus, William and 
Horatio N. ; and two daughters Rebecca and Sarah. 

Benjamin Franklin, eldest son of the Captain, settled in 

George Franklin, second son of the Captain, married 
Rachel, daughter of William Hazen, and settled in Bayharn, 
where he raised a large family. 

Augustus Franklin, third son of the Captain, married Jane 
Smith, and settled on part of the homestead. He had four 
sons Benjamin, Isaac, Nelson Byron, and Wellington ; and 
two daughters Clarissa and Eliza Jane. These sons and 
daughters all settled in Walsingham. NELSON BYRON was the 
late Dr. Franklin, of Port Rowan, and Miss Ann Franklin, of 


that place, a prominent local vocalist, is a daughter of Dr. 

William Franklin, fourth son of ^ the Captain, married 
Martha, daughter of Andrew McCleish, and settled on part of 
the homestead. He had six sons Ethan, John L., Andrew R., 
William, Benjamin W. and Harvey L. ; and one daughter 
Louisa Jane. All settled in Walsingham, WILLIAM succeeding 
to the homestead. 

Horatio N. Franklin, youngest son of the Captain, married 
Mary Rockafeller, a relative of the American millionaire of that 
name. He settled in Bay ham and, subsequently, in Charlotte- 
ville. He had two sons Oliver and Horatio N. ; and one 
daughter, Hester. All settled in Walsingham. 

Sarah Franklin, eldest daughter of the Captain, married 
Henry Smith, and settled in Walsingham. She raised a large 
family, the most of whom settled in their native township, 

Rebecca Franklin, the Captain's second daughter, married' 
Hamilton Woodroof , in Connecticut, and, as before stated, came 
with her husband in the Franklin party. They settled at 
Vittoria and raised a large family, the most of whom settled in 

Dr. Benjamin W. Franklin, of Port Huron, is the fifth son 
of William Franklin, son of the original William.. William 
Franklin, the third, present occupant in part of the old home- 
stead, has seen seven generations of Franklins, and his chances 
for seeing the eighth are very good. 




THE great whirligig of human events brings about a won- 
derful variety of combinations and conditions in the affairs of 
men. The ever changing and shifting course of circumstances 
make and unmake men ; and the best that man can do, is to 
take advantage of opportunity when it is offered, and reconcile 
himself to the inevitable when opportunity is withheld. One 
of the strange incidents of life occurred at the battle of Lundy's 
Lane. Two brothers, Jessie and Abner Owen, were on opposite 
sides in that memorable struggle. The brothers did not hap- 
pen to meet, and it is supposed that each was ignorant of the 
other's whereabouts at that time. Jesse Owen was in the 
American ranks, and an account of the part he played in the 
battle, written by himself, has been carefully preserved by his 
descendants. From this writing the following is taken : 

" I enlisted at the beginning of the war and served until it 
closed. I was engaged in several battles. I was with General 
Brown when he crossed over to Canada on the 3rd of July, 
1814, and took Fort Erie. I was at Chippewa, and afterwards 
at Lundy's Lane, July 25th. The battle at the latter place com- 
menced before sunset and continued until midnight. The moon 
shone brightly. Generals Brown and Scott were both wounded, 
and the command fell to General Ripley. We were sorely 
annoyed by the British artillery stationed on a commanding 
elevation, and Colonel Miller, by orders from General Ripley, 
called for forty volunteers to take this battery. The number 


quickly responded, I being one of them. After divesting our- 
selves of all superfluous clothing and tieing handkerchiefs 
around our heads, we started on the double-quick, and reaching 
the muzzles of the cannon, we drove back the artillerymen with 
our bayonets. Both parties were instantly reinforced and the 
struggle for possession was fierce and obstinate. Twice they 
were regained by the British, but after being repulsed the 
third time we were left in possession. Soon after the battle 
closed; and at the next roll-call only eighteen out of the forty 
answered to their names." 

There are no records showing what particular part Abner 
Owen took in the battle. He was there with the Norfolk 
militia, and not being an artilleryman, he probably took no 
part in the hand-to-hand contest over the guns. He was a 
good horseman, and after the war was over he organized a 
troop of cavalry and became its captain, and ever after was 
known as Captain Owen. 

The Owen family in America are off-shoots of a very old 
and influential Welsh clan. M. F. Owen, of Indiana, has spent 
several years in the compilation of a genealogical history of 
this old Welsh family. From this work we learn that J'r. 
John Owen, the eminent Nonconformist divine ; Richard 
Owen, the celebrated naturalist, who published original papers 
on every branch of the animal kingdom, living and fossil ; 
Robert Owen, the distinguished organizer and social theorist ; 
Robert Dale Owen, the celebrated statistician ; and many other 
prominent historical personages, bearing the name, are all 
twigs of different branches of the one old Welsh family tree. 
From the genealogical work referred to we also learn that one 
Ludlow Owen came to America in an early day from Wales, 
and settled in the Dutch colony of New York ; and that the 
Norfolk Owens are directly traceable to him. The Owen 
family are noted for originality in devising methods ; for love 
of variety in industrial pursuits ; and a tendency to roam. 
While these characteristic traits lead the talented to fame 
and worldly distinction, they prevent the small-minded from 


acquiring riches as well as subjecting them to the charge of 
" crankiness," and sometimes of downright shiftlessness. The 
Owens do not take kindly to the soil. They look upon variety 
as the spice of life, and a rural environment is not in harmony 
with their tastes. They are much inclined to mechanical pur- 
suits, and hence we find many millers among them. 

Ludlow Owen died in New York at the extreme old age of 
one hundred and two years, while engaged in cutting alder- 
brush near his home. He had a son, Epinetis, a miller, who 
came to Long Point settlement in the closing years of last 
century. Jesse and Abner were the sons of Epinetis, and 
young children at this time. At one time Epinetis Owen 
worked in Cross & Fisher's mill, and soon after he met with an 
accident in Vittoria that terminated his life. He left seven 
sons Enoch, Elijah, Daniel, Israel, Asa, Abner and Jesse ; and 
three daughters Anah, Mary and Phoebe, 

Enoch Owen was a Baptist preacher. He settled in 
Pennsylvania and raised a family, the name of his eldest son 
being Epinetis. 

Elijah Owen was a millwright by trade. He was of a 
roaming disposition, and it is supposed he settled somewhere 
in the Southern States. 

Daniel Owen settled on the Maumee River, in Indiana. 
He lived to be very old, and left a large family. The name of 
his eldest son was Chauncey. 

Israel Owen married Mary Anderson, and settled near 
Simcoe. Seven years after his marriage he left his wife with 
three children and went to Saline, Michigan, where he lived 
the remainder of his life. Two of these children grew up 
Charles and Mary. The son married Barbara Wederick, and 
settled near Hagersville, and the daughter married James 
Higgins, and settled in Michigan. 

Asa Owen settled in Indiana. He left two daughters. 

Abner Owen was born in New York in 1783. He married 
Elizabeth Buchner, and settled in Woodhouse, a little south of 
Simcoe. He had six grown-up sons Robert, Henry, Abner, 


Alfred, John and Stephen ; and two daughters Lizana and 
Mary Ann. 

Captain Owen died in 1857, in his 75th year, and his wife 
died in 1860, in her 78th year. 

Robert Owen, eldest son of Abner, died from the effects of 
a cold contracted while on duty during the rebellion. He had 
one son, James, who died young ; and one daughter, Helen. 

Henry B. Owen, second son of Abner, married Rachel 
Ellis, of Mount Pleasant, and had two sons Walter and 

Abner Owen, third son of Abner, married Lavinia Holt, 
and settled at Charlotteville Centre, where he operated a saw- 
mill for a number of years. He had four sons Dudley, 
Albert, Joseph and Abner; and three daughters Lizana, 
Martha and Mary. The latter married J. V. Watts, the Walsh 

Alfred Owen, fourth son of Abner, married Caroline 
Burwell, niece of Colonel Burwell, and settled in Simcoe. He 
left no children. 

John Owen, fifth son of Abner, married Harriet Walker, 
by whom he had two sons Robert and William. John is 
living in Michigan. 

Stephen Owen, youngest son of Abner, married Isabel 
Craik, and had two sons Edmond and Arthur. 

Lizana Owen, eldest daughter of Abner, died single. 

Mary Ann Owen, the Captain's youngest daughter, married 
Robert Dudley, and settled in Chicago, where she raised a 

Jesse Owen, the younger son of Epinetis, was a Methodist 
preacher. He returned to New York when quite a young 
man, and was living there when the war of 1812 broke out. 
In 1807 he married Anna Winter. He was ordained in New 
York, and his children were all born in that State. In 1830 
he came with his family to Canada and was assigned to the 
London District Circuit. He lived in old-fashioned times and, 
of course, was an old-fashioned preacher, but the bravery 



displayed at Lundy's Lane, 
in fighting the battles of 
his country, never deserted 
him during the years he 
travelled through the for- 
ests of old London District 
in fighting the battles of 
the great Prince of Peace 
and Righteousness. The 
stories he used to tell of 
hardships endured and 
privations suffered in his 
wanderings through the 
Canadian wilderness in 
those early days, would fill 
a volume. He was super- 
annuated in 1852, and died 

in 1 878, at the good old age of ninety-one years, at Plainwell, 

Michigan. Many years before his death he was granted a 

pension for his war services. 

He had three sons Daniel, 

Joel W. and Asbury ; and 

five daughters Clarissa, 

Eliza, Anna, Mary and 


Daniel Owen, first son 

of Jesse, married Eliza 

Gray, and finally settled 

in Allegan County, Mich., 

where he died very old and 


Joel W. Owen, second 

son of Jesse, married 

Cynthia, daughter of Dea- 
con Joseph Kitchen, by 

whom he had one son, JOEL w. OWEN. 


Egbert A. Subsequently he married Mary Woodbeck, a 
school-teacher, by whom he had four sons Millard F , Jesse, 
Ernest and Charles ; and two daughters Cynthia and Cora. 
He is in his 81st year, and lives in Otsego, Mich. He will 
be remembered by the old people as a carder and cloth-dresser 
in the old carding mill that stood on the creek below the old 
Gustin flouring mill, just east of Vittoria. 

Asbury Owen, third son of Jesse, married Jane Ross, of 
Woodhouse. He settled in Allegan County, Mich., where his 
wife died. Subsequently he married a Mrs. Potter. He died 
quite recently in Idaho, at an advanced age, leaving no children. 

Clarissa Owen, eldest daughter of Jesse, married Charles 
Jackson, and settled near Saline, Mich. She was the mother 
of twelve children. 

Eliza Owen, the second daughter, married Sandrus Pingrey, 
and settled in Minnesota. She had five children, one of whom, 
Joseph, is a lawyer and ex-member of the State Legislature. 
Subsequently she married Lot Lewis, by whom she had two 

Anna Owen, the third daughter, married Seth Ryerson, by 
whom she had three sons Jesse, John Wesley and James ; 
and three daughters Mary, Sarah and Martha. 

Mary Owen, the fourth daughter, married Julius Marsh and 
settled in Galina, 111. She had two children. 

Caroline Owen, the youngest daughter of Jesse, married 
John Brazee, of Fort Erie, and settled in Barry County, Mich. 
She had three sons -and five daughters, and recently died at a 
ripe old age. 

Anah Owen, eldest daughter of Epineti-s, was born in New 
York in 1774. She married Ebenezer Goodhue, and settled, at 
first, near Vittoria, and subsequently in Beverley. She had two 
sons and three daughters. The younger son, Ebenezer, died 
single, with consumption, in 1849, in his 36th year, and the 
elder son settled in the States. One daughter, Sarah, married 
a man named Muma, and settled in Michigan. The second 
married a man named Depew, and had six sons Timothy, 


George, William, John, Michael and Henry ; and one daughter, 
Emily. Henry is a doctor in Chicago. The third daughter, 
Mary, married Moses Cornell, and had two sons Owen and 
James; and five daughters Phoebe Ann, Lizana, Harriet, 
Abigail and Esther. Mr. Goodhue died in 1853, in his 81st 
year, and his wife died in 1852, in her 78th year. 

Mary Owen, second daughter of Epinetis, married a Tracy, 
and settled in New York. She left one son. 

Phcebe Owen, the youngest daughter, married Jacob Cope, 
and settled at St. George. She left four children, one of whom, 
William, was a Methodist preacher. 

The battle of Lundy's Lane was the most fiercely contested 
battle that engaged our brave militia during the war of 1812, 
and the terrible scene enacted on that moonlit July night, cast 
a shadow of sorrow over many a pioneer home in Long Point 
settlement. The man who owned the farm on which this 
memorable battle was fought, was James Lundy, and the road 
which passed through his farm was known as " Lundy's Lane," 
hence the reason for the name given the battle. In 1837 a son 
of this James Lundy Samuel came to Norfolk and settled 
in Townsend ; and Edward H. Lundy, son of Samuel, is the 
well-known Waterford merchant. 



IN the year 1626 Charles I., finding that he had a refrac- 
tory and unmanageable parliament on his hands, resolved to 
dissolve it. The speaker, John Finch, arose to announce the 
king's command, when two members thrust him back into his 
chair and held him there while the house proceeded with the 
business in hand. This John Finch was a loyalist and espoused 
the king's cause ; and from that time down to the present, the 
Finches have been staunch supporters of the royal cause in all 
emergencies. And in the new land the family offshoots have 
been not less renowned for their fidelity to the British Crown. 

The subject of this sketch is the old pulpit veteran of 
Vittoria, known far and near as Elder Finch. 

Titus Finch was a soldier in the British army, and came 
with his regiment to America to fight for old King George III., 
in the war of American Independence. During the transit of 
his regiment, a married comrade and himself were stricken 
down with fever. The comrade died, and the lonely widow 
turned her attention to the sick couch of Mr. Finch. So 
diligent was she in her care of the patient that a mutual feeling 
of affection was engendered between them, which culminated 
in their marriage. Mr. Finch was a very religious soldier. 
He never entered an engagement without having first invoked 
the Divine blessing on the undertaking. He was in General 
Clinton's army when the war closed, and was relieved from 
service at Halifax ; and although permitted to draw upon the 
commissariat for a year, he at once sought for employment of 
some kind. Hearing of a back settlement where he might 


probably find work, he went thither, and securing a small 
vacant cabin commenced housekeeping. The settlers were 
nearly all Baptists, and Mr. Finch was soon one among them in 
their religious work. His zeal won him many friends, who 
advised him to turn his attention to preaching the Gospel. He 
was ordained soon after, and thenceforward devoted his life's 
work to the ministry. 

He came to Long Point in 1798, and settled on land near 
Vittoria, erecting his log cabin on the bank of Young's Creek. 

There were not many Baptists in the new settlement, but 
before six years had passed away he succeeded in organizing a 
Baptist church. This was in 1804, and it is said to be the 
first Baptist church organized in Upper Canada except it be 
the old Beamsville church which was organized during that 
same year. Elder Finch was an indefatigable worker. For 
years he received nothing but a black suit of clothes, annually, 
for his labors in ministering to the spiritual welfare of his 
little flock. So great was his zeal in the good work that a 
small sum was raised on two different occasions to send him 
out through the forest on local missionary tours ; first, in the 
direction of Woodstock ; and, afterward, in the direction of 
Aylmer. He preached in Vittoria over a quarter of a century, 
and left a record behind him which any preacher of the gospel 
might be pardoned for envying. 

During the war of 1812, General Brock called a meeting at 
the house of William Culver, near St. John's Church, south 
of Simcoe, on his way up country. At that meeting it is said 
that 178 volunteered for service among whom were John and 
Hugh McCall and Titus Finch, the Elder's eldest son. Titus was 
taken sick soon after and was unable to go. This caused the 
Elder no little anxiety, as he was afraid it might be attributed 
to cowardice. George, a younger son, only sixteen, perceiving 
his father's discomforture, declared that he would go in his 
brothers place. The Elder gave his consent, and the boy in 
due time reported at headquarters. When the General came to 
him, as he passed down the line of new recruits, he halted and 


asked George how old he was. The boy told him, after which 
the General remarked that he was too young, and that he was 
afraid his mother would be crying after him. George informed 
the (General that his brother was ill ; that he came as a substi- 
tute, and that he had his parents' permission. He was allowed 
to pass, and during the campaign, which resulted in the capture 
of the territory of Michigan, he won a gold medal, and wore it 
in after years, as some of the old people now living will 
remember. George Finch was the last survivor of this squad 
of volunteers. The boat that carried them up the lake was 
owned by John McCall, and had a cannon on board. 

Elder Finch drew six hundred acres of land from the 
Government, part of which was Lot 19, in the 4th concession, 
where he settled. He had five sons Thomas, Jerry, William, 
Titus and George ; and three daughters the eldest of whom 
married into the Fuller family, and settled in Oxford. Nancy, 
the second daughter, married Luke Teeple, and settled at 
Vittoria ; and Dancy, the youngest daughter, married John 
Edwards, and settled in Lobo. Elder Finch died in 1821, in 
his 79th year. 

Thomas, eldest son of Elder Finch, married Hannah Culver, 
of Yarmouth, and settled in Oxford. He had three sons- 
David, William and Henry ; and three daughters Martha 
Ann, Louisa and Jane. The sons are all dead. 

Jerry, second son of Elder Finch, settled in Oxford County, 
where he raised a family. 

William, third son of Elder Finch, married Hannah Barrett 
and settled on the homestead. He had six sons Titus, James, 
Butler, William, John and Henry ; and three daughters 
Rebecca Ann, Gertrude and Luwinda. Of this family, TITTS 
married Elizabeth Glover, and settled at Forestville. He had 
one daughter, Tamson, who married James Thompson. JAMES 
married Sarah Ann, daughter of Elder Olney, and settled at 
Forestville. He had two daughters Harriet and Ellena. 
Butler married Lavinia Raymond, and settled at Forestville. 
He had one son, Frank. WILLIAM married Mary Jane Mabee, 


and settled on Lot 9, 5th concession of Charlotteville. At 
present he owns and occupies the old Finch home, and the old 
homestead of his wife's father. He has two daughters Marilla 
and Emma. JOHN married the widow of his brother Butler, 
and settled on the old homestead. He had three daughters 
Clara, Minnie and Grace. HENRY married Matilda Simonds, 
and settled in Vittoria. He had one son, William. REBECCA 
ANN married John Boupry, and settled in Simcoe. She had 
four sons Alexander, John, James and William; and one 
daughter, Helen. GERTRUDE married Duncan Walsh, and set- 
tled on the old Walsh homestead. She had two sons William 
and Aquila ; and one daughter, Priscilla. LUWINDA married 
Owen Falls, and settled in Simcoe. She had three sons 
William, Frank and Harvey ; and four daughters Catherine, 
Helen, Anna and Mary. 

Titus, fourth son of Elder Finch, married into the Drake 
family, and settled near Forestville. Subsequently he settled 
in Oxford County. 

George, youngest son of Elder Finch, married Nancy 
Rockafeller, and settled in Oxford County on land drawn from 
the Government. 



THE first grist-mill in old Woodhouse was built by Colonel 
Samuel Ryerse, at Port Ryerse, and the first grist ground in it 
was grown on the old Misner farm just south of Simcoe. The 
grist was carried to mill on the back of a horse, and young 
Misner had to turn the bolter by hand as the grist was being 
ground ; but it was a great improvement on the stump mill. 

Caleb Hazen started one of the first wagon shops in the settle- 
ment on Lot 2, in the 1st concession of Woodhouse. He made 
crude ox-carts and two-skein, linch-pin wagons. In those days 
the settler who could afford to carry his wife and children four or 
five miles through the woods, over corduroy roads, to a Sunday 
meeting in a new linch-pin lumber wagon wholly paid for, and 
drawn by a yoke of oxen all his own, was supposed to be on the 
highway leading to prosperity. Colonel Rapelje brought the 
first spring carriage into the settlement, and for a while it was 
an object of great curiosity, especially to the children, who had 
never seen such a vehicle. The next innovation on the demo- 
cratic plane of social equality was an importation of Cross & 
Fisher's, consisting of a French horse, a cutter and a single 
open buggy. Roland Gilbert claimed the honor of having 
ridden in the first " democrat " wagon brought into the country. 
The nabobs who rode in carriages in those times had to pay for 
the social distinction it gave them. For purposes of taxation 
single and two-horse carriages, second stories on dwelling- 
houses, and each additional fire-place, were assessed at nominal 
sums fixed from time to time by statutory enactments a one- 
story cabin made of unhewed logs, and containing one fire- 
place, being exempt from taxation. 


It is said that one James Wells, who lived on the lake shore 
at this time, allowed his enterprise to get the better of his 
judgment, and actually built a two-story house containing two 
fire-places. Coming to his senses after the house was com- 
pleted, and fully repenting of his folly, he tore the house down 
and reconstructed it on a one-story, single fire-place plan. 

The young people who read this must not condemn the 
system as smacking of barbarism, for they must remember that 
the same principle is still in vogue, the only difference being in 
the manner of its application. Mr. Wells simply found that a 
little exhibition of enterprise subjected him to &jine, and if his 
grandson is alive to-day, and is an enterprising man, he must 
pay a similar fine for a like purpose every time he indulges in 
a little "fix-up-itiveness " Of course, exemptions vary from time 
to time, but the principle remains and it remains as a disgrace 
to the more enlightened times in which it is our blessed privilege 
to live. May the time hastily come when these evidences of 
home improvement will be exempt from taxation, and the man 
who lives the life of a troglodyte be compelled to bear his full 
share of the common burdens ; or, in other words, be compelled 
to pay a like sum for a like number of acres of land of like 
natural value, regardless of any artificial value which human 
thrift may have attached to it. 

Blacksmith shops appeared here and there from the very 
beginning. They were prime essentials in the work of settle- 
ment. Hoes, forks, chains, clevises, axes, nails and pretty much 
everything of like nature, were made at these shops. They 
were exceedingly crude, clumsy and expensive, like many other 
hand-made articles in those days. In the early settlement the 
major portion of the /^orse-shoeing business was done by shoeing 
oxen, and it is amusing to hear the old people tell how they 
used to take their best girls sleigh-riding in ox sleds, and how 
they used to run horses no, I mean oxen with their " swell " 
rivals. Sometimes their roadsters would be a yoke of steers, 
and then the driver would have to walk and lead the nigh steer 


while his girl sat on the sled alone. Sometimes they would 


gather a sleigh-load of girls and boys, and go singing and shout- 
ing away through the woods on a crisp, moonlit winter's night 
to a spelling-match held in some log school-house. But what- 
ever the occasion, if it were a bit icy, the oxen would require 
shoeing to enable them to keep their feet. It is astonishing how 
fleet of foot some of the oxen were. They were trained to it, 
and it was a common thing to see a yoke of oxen trotting along 
the road hitched to a clumsy two- wheel cart, in which would be 
seated some settler and his wife, while just above the sides of 
the rude cart-box might be seen from two to a half-dozen heads 


of the on-coming generation, bobbing about with every jolt of 
the clumsy, shambling old cart. 

To show how the sons and daughters of the first families 
pioneered their way into the unbroken forest of the back town- 
ships, the following description, given by a silver-haired matron 
of one of our modern Norfolk homes, may be taken as the com- 
mon experience of all. It is given in her own words, as fol- 
lows : 

" When father (her husband) an' me settled here in the woods 
the only neighbors we had was screech-owls, wolves an' bears 
an' yawlin' wildcats. Our nearest human neighbor was four 
miles from us, an' it was nine miles to the settlement where 
mother lived father was killed by a tree fallin' on him 'bout 
a year before we was married. The winter before we was 
married my ole man chopped on the land here, and towards 
spring he built a log shanty. The land between us an' the 
settlement was clay an' heavy timbered, an' when it broke up 
in the spring it was nearly all under water. My ole man had 
a yoke o' steers his father gin him, an' after we was married 
we borrowed a sled an' moved in here before it broke up. We 
just had one little sled-load o' stuff to commence keeping house 
with, and I rode on top of it an' father that's my ole man 
walked an' led the steers. That first summer we didn't have 
no cart or wagon, an' many a time we went out to the settle- 
ment that summer on a Sunday, to meetin' an' to mother's, 
with the steers an' the crotch. Crotch ? Why that was a 


thing my old man made to haul logs on. It quirled up at the 
nose like a sled an' sprawled out so-fashion. You see one end 
of the log laid on the crotch an' tother end drug behind. Well, 
as I said, we went to meetin' an to mother's with that crotch. 
My ole man had a seat fixed on the crotch, an' when we went 
through mud-holes I would have to hold up my feet to keep 
'em out of the mud. My ole man had to walk, and when we 
got out to the clearin' he would roll down his trowser's legs and 
put on his boots. We planted a little corn among the stumps, 
an' that fall we had some cornstalks of our own raisin'. I 
shall never forget to my dyin' day how proud I felt of them 
cornstalks. How happy I was when we went out to mother's 
that fall with a bundle o' cornstalks on the crotch for a cushion 
for my feet. It was our first crop, an' that bundle o' stalks 
was the most precious cushion I ever owned." 

I will simply add that this old lady lives in an elegant home, 
situated in a rich section of country, and supplied with all the 
comforts of modern rural life. 

These sons and daughters of the old Long Point pioneers 
possessed few advantages for acquiring even the crudest 
kind of a fundamental education. In the beginning, children 
received little or no education beyond what their parents were 
able to give them, and even where the parents had received 
a fair education in the older lands whence they came, they had 
not the time while struggling for a bare existence in the 
primeval forest to instruct their children in the commonest 
branches of learning. It is no wonder that so many of Nor- 
folk's first generation of native-born citizens grew up into 
manhood and womanhood unable to read or write. As settle- 
ment advanced, and a sufficient number of families had settled 
where it was possible for the children of each to gather at a 
common centre, a school was established. By united effort a 
rude log structure was erected, and the neighborhood canvassed 
for monthly subscriptions for the payment of a teacher's salary. 
These pioneers schools were established on purely voluntary 
principles. The average wage paid the teachers was about 
$10 per month with board, and the average annual term was 


three months of the winter season. If the number of families 
within reach of each other was five, for instance, and the total 
number of available children twenty, and each settler was 
willing to support the school and pay his share of the expenses, 
each would subscribe at the rate of SI. 50 for each pupil sent, 
payable in monthly instalments of fifty cents. Of course this 
is assuming a three months' term with a teacher at $10 per 
month. In the case assumed the settler who sent two pupils 
would pay $3 for the term and board the teacher one-tenth of 
the time. There was no government appropriation for the aid 
of common schools previous to 1816. 

These pioneer schools were very crude as late as 1826, as 
shown by the following review of the school- days of one of 
Norfolk's " back -township" pioneers and best known citizens, 
who was born in an old Charlotte ville home about eighty years 
ago, and educated (?) in one of these pioneer schools located not 
far from Vittoria. As he is a Justice of the Peace of many years' 
standing, we will let the squire tell his own story : 

" The first school-house in our neighborhood was a little log 
.structure, an' the last term that was taught in it was my first 
term at school, an' the master's name was Cornelius Schammer- 
horn. He kept three months, an' the last day we had a high old 
time. The master invited all the parents, an' he fetched three 
gallons o' whiskey an' a sack o' sugar to treat the hull caboodle 
of us. The old folks heard us read an' seen us write, an' then 
we had a spellin' match. Everybody helped themselves to 
sugar an' whiskey, an' in the afternoon we all played ball. In 
about 1826 father an' a neighbor built a little new frame school- 


house, an' the first master that kept school in it was Benjamin 
Tisdale. My next teacher was John Lanning, an' he never 
went to school a day in his life. Then came Daniel McCall, 
who kept three months an' then went off down south for his 
health, an' died. My next teacher was Philip Smith. They 
hired him for three months, but after he kept one day he gave 
up the job, an' D. W. Freeman took his place. The next was 
old Laterette. They hired him the first day of November, 
1832, an' he kept till Christmas eve, when 'e got drunk an' got 


the grand bounce. Then they hired Sandy Ford for three 
months, an' he got through all right. The next winter they 
hired 'im agin', but after he'd kept for about a month he come 
to school one mornin' from Vittory drunk as an owl an' daubed 
all over with mud. A lot of us boys got 'im in the school-house, 
an' then we fastened the door an' made up our minds to give 
'im a good smokin'. Some o' the boys boosted me up on the 
roof, an' then they handed up a board, an' I put it on top o' the 
chimbley an' sot down on it. After a while the smoke begun 
to ooze out through the windows, an' the boys kept up such 
a yellin' that father an' some o' the neighbors heard the racket, 
an', thinkin' the house was on fire, they came on the run, an' 
when we seen 'em acomin' we lit out in every direction. They 
busted the door open, an' when they took poor Sandy out he 
was more dead than alive. That ended his school work. 
He was the last teacher that kept school in that school-house. 
I 'tended school one term after this down to Smith's school- 
house. An Irishman named Boyd kept the school, and he had 
a peppery temper. Whenever a scholar made him mad (and 
that would happen many times in a day) he would grab his 
stick an' make a rush for 'im, an' if 'e got there before he got 
over his mad fit he'd make the dust fly out o' the poor feller's 
jacket, I tell ye. He was the the worst tobaccar chawer I ever 
seen. In them days a tobaccar-plug looked like an old-fashioned 
dough-nut. It was a double twister, an' when straightened 
out looked like a piece of black inch rope about a foot long. 
Old Boyd kept one o' these plugs layin' on his table all the time, 
an' every little while he'd bite off about a half an inch, an' then 
he'd spit from one side o' the School-house to the other. Some- 
times while readin' the mornin' prayer out o' the spellin' book, 
he'd stop an' bite off a wad from the double-twister, an' then 
he'd go on where he left off. But when he stopped the prayer 
to wallop a scholar he'd always begin over again with the 
words, ' We beseech Thee, O Lord.' When any of us were late 
in the mornin' the first question we asked was, ' Has 'e got 
through beseechin' yet ? ' Poor old Boyd ! He gave me the 
finishin' touches to my education." 



THE McCleish girls, of Charlotteville, were known all over 
Long Point settlement, not by reason of any unusual traits of 
character possessed by them, but simply because there were 
eleven of them in one family, and each one had a brother. 
This was the enigmatical way of expressing it, and many a 
pioneer youth was led to believe there were twenty-two sons and 
daughters in the family, instead of twelve the only son being 
held in common by the eleven sisters. It served a purpose by 
teaching thoughtless youngsters the folly of jumping at hasty 
conclusions. The family name has become extinct in Norfolk, 
but the McCleish blood courses through the veins of a consider- 
able portion of Norfolk's present population. These eleven 
McCleish sisters all became pioneer mothers, and their descend- 
ants are scattered all over the Western States and Canada, and 
have become, numerically, as the " sands of the sea shore.'' 

Andrew McCleish, the father of this large family of pioneer 
mothers, was a Scotch U. E. Loyalist. He came to Long Point 
before the present century was born, and drew four hundred 
acres of land, comprising Lots 9 and 10 in the 5th concession of 
Charlotteville. Mr. McCleish was not accustomed to farming ; 
and, in addition to his inexperience, he possessed a frail consti- 
tution. His bush life, therefore, was far from being satisfactory 
to himself. ' He made slow progress in the arduous task of 
hewing out a home in a forest, and he was unable to retain all 
his land. In the central portion of this tract was a cranberry 
marsh, consisting of fifty or sixty acres, and the stories which 
have been handed down pertaining to the immense quantities 


of berries taken from this marsh, sound as though they might 
have originated with old Baron Munchausen himself. It is 
said that on one occasion a party came over from the Boston 
settlement for cranberries, among whom were Benjamin Fair- 
child and one of the Corlisses, and that Hugh McCall went to 
the marsh with them and filled their sacks by scooping up the 
cranberries with a wooden shovel. The berries were put through 
a fanning mill, and when bagged up the party went home with 
sixteen bushels. Mr. McCleish failed to turn this bountiful gift 
of nature into a source of revenue. Settlers far and near came 
for cranberries, and Mr. McCleish made no charges. At first 
the berry -pickers tendered the proprietor little donations of one 
thing and another, but finally they neglected even this little 
courtesy, and simply helped themselves without asking leave. 
This provocation led Mr. McCleish into a very foolish act. In 
1819 he set the marsh on fire during a very dry time, and it 
burned until the following January, totally destroying it, root 
and branch. 

When McArthur's troops passed through the settlement, 
during the war of 1812, they set adrift a jaded young horse 
that had given out and become unfit for further use. Several 
settlers refused to take -the poor beast in, but Mrs. McCleish 
took pity on it and gave it a home. Under her kind treat- 
ment the animal rapidly recuperated, and for many long years 
afterwards it carried its kind benefactress about the settlement, 
as the oldest people living well remember. 

The marshes in Norfolk at this early day were infested with 
the dreaded " masasauga," and it is a wonder that so few of the 
old pioneers were bitten by them. Titus Finch was bitten by 
one in the McCleish marsh, but a copious draught of whiskey, 
taken immediately, counteracted the poison. The wife of 
Colonel Daniel McCall was bitten in the foot by a " rattler," 
and came near losing her life. In after years she gave birth to 
two children and, it is said, both of these children died in 
infancy, having turned spotted previous to fleath. 

Andrew McCleish died some time before the rebellion, aged 


about seventy. The names of his eleven daughters were 
Fanny, Mary, Amy, Martha, Margaret, Eleanor, Jane, Phoebe, 
Ann Maria, Christiana and Leah, and the name of the only 
son was Andrew. 

Fanny McCleish married Thomas Shippey, a miller, and 
settled in Bayham. 

Mary McCleish married Isaac Smith, and settled in 

Amy McCleish married Isaac Procunier, and settled in Wal- 
singham, where they raised a large family. Mr. Procunier was 
a lumberman. 

. Martha McCleish married William Franklin, and settled in 
Walsingham. Her children are enumerated in the Franklin 

Margaret McCleish married Whiting VanNorman, one of 
the VanNorman brothers of Port Normandale fame. Whiting 
served for a time as foreman for his brothers at the " furnace," 
and from there he went to Illinois. Subsequently he returned 
to Canada. They had four sons and three daughters. The 
sons settled in Minneapolis, and two of the daughters married 
and settled in Oxford. 

Eleanor McCleish married Henry Rohrer, and settled in 

Jane McCleish married Daniel Rohrer, and settled in Wal- 
singham. Her children, and also those of her sister Eleanor, 
are enumerated in the Rohrer genealogy. 

Phoebe McCleish married Jasper Dresser, and settled in 
Brant county. 

Ann Maria McCleish married Granville Davis, and settled 
in Ohio. Subsequently she married David Stackhouse, and 
settled in Charlotte ville. Her son William Stackhouse suc- 
ceeded to the homestead Lot 2, 1st concession. 

Christiana McCleish married Walter Rockaf eller, and settled 
in Walsingham. She had seven sons Andrew, Alexander, 
William D., Cornelius, Allan, Walter and Ralph; and three 
daughters Adaline, Jane, and Hannah. The Rockafellers, 


who, by the way, are related to the famous American million- 
aire of that name, have become quite numerous in the township 
of Walsingham. 

Leah McCleish, the youngest daughter, married Eli Louks, 
and settled in Walsingham. She had one son, Andrew ; and 
two daughters, Sarah and Henrietta. Andrew succeeded to 
the homestead Lot 6, 3rd concession. 

Andrew McCleish, the only son, was twice married. By his 
first wife, Jane Franklin, he had three sons, Andrew, George 
and Austin; and three daughters, Sarah, Rachel and Helen. 
Subsequently he married Mrs. Titus, nee Mary Dolan, by whom 
he had one son, Bruce. Mr. McCleish settled in Walsingham, 
and died in Aylmer when about sixty years old, and none of 
his children remain in Norfolk. The sons are all in the States 
Andrew being in Michigan, one daughter settled in Mani- 
toba, one in Aldborough, and Helen married James Chute, and 
settled on JNova Scotia Street, Malahide. The name has 
become extinct in Norfolk. 



THE Walsh family of Norfolk is an offshoot of one of the 
old noble families of Wales which was famous many centuries 
ago. The name was formerly written " Welch," but was 
changed to Walsh by tine Norfolk branch of the family soon 
after making a settlement here. The father of the Walshes of 
Norfolk Thomas Welch was a descendant of that branch of 
the family that followed Strongbow (Earl of Pembroke) into 
Ireland in the twelfth century, remaining and establishing a 
holding in Kilkenny County where, for several centuries, they 
maintained a reputable standing. A sub-branch of the family 
settled in Tyrone County and became noted for uprightness of 
character and sterling worth. In 1740, Francis, the youngest 
of several brothers, left Dungannon and came to America, being 
a young man and single. He found employment as clerk in 
a mercantile house in Philadelphia, operated by one Pierce, a 
Quaker, whose daughter he subsequently married. Having a 
love for the sea, he gave up merchandising and engaged in 
maritime pursuits. During the war between France and Eng- 
land his ship was seized by the enemy while making a voyage 
between Europe and America, and himself made a prisoner and 
carried to a French port, from which he soon afterward escaped 
and succeeded in reaching England. 

This Francis Welch was the father of the old Long Point 
pioneer known to us as the original Thomas Welch. Although 
quite young, Thomas was a volunteer in the service of his 
country in her struggle with France at this time, and took part 
in the battle of Laurel Hill. He acquired a good education, 


and when peace was restored he became a surveyor and under- 
sheriff in a Pennsylvania county. Subsequently he married and 
settled in Maryland, where he was engaged in business as a sur- 
veyor and conveyancer when the war of the Revolution broke 
out. He was offered a colonelcy by the American rebels, but 
he declined the offer. This subjected him to great peril, and he 
had much difficulty in escaping to a place of safety. He joined 
the British forces and served as an officer in a contingent of the 
army known as the Maryland Loyalists. For three years he 
was with his regiment at Pensecola, Florida, serving under 
General Durnford as assistant engineer. While stationed here 
the little garrison was attacked by 20,000 Spaniards and 
Indians, and he became a Spanish prisoner of war. 

At the close of the war he was employed to survey lands in 
New Brunswick for the U. E. Loyalist refugees, being engaged 
several years in this work. Returning to Maryland he married 
his second wife, and commenced proceedings to regain a portion 
of his real estate which, by some oversight, had not been con- 
fiscated. Failing in this undertaking he came to Upper Canada 
in 1793, with his wife and two sons Francis Leigh, the elder, 
nine years old, and Aquila M., the younger. He was at once 
employed to survey portions of Lincoln and Norfolk counties, 
and in 1796 was appointed Registrar of Deeds for Norfolk 
County, which embraced at that time the townships of Walpole 
and Rainham, in addition to its present territory. When the 
London district was organized in 1 800, he was appointed Clerk 
of the Peace, Registrar of the Surrogate Court and Deputy 
Secretary for the issue of land patents for the district. In 
1810 he became Judge of the District and Surrogate Courts, 
at which time the County Registry Office passed into the 
hands of his son, Francis L. Walsh. Soon afterwards failing 
health forced him to retire from public life, and highly com- 
plimentary addresses were tendered him on his retirement. 
The first election held in Norfolk, of which we have any 
account, was held at Avery's Mills, Waterford, and Thomas 
Welch, who served on this occasion, was the first Returning 


The name of Francis L. Walsh will ever be revered by the 
sons of " Glorious old Norfolk." In the year 1808, while yet a 
mere lad, he was appointed Deputy County Registrar as 
evidenced by the following document : 

" Before us, Samuel Ryerse, Edward Watson, Thomas Welch, 
and Thomas Horner, Esquires, four of His Majesty's Justices of 
the Peace in and for the District of London, Province of Upper 
Canada, personally came and appeared Francis Leigh Walsh, 
Deputy Register for the County of Norfolk, in the said District 
of London, and took the necessary oath prescribed by law as 
Deputy Register for said County." 

Two years later he became Registrar, and from that time 
until his death, which occured in 1884, Francis L. Walsh held 
the office of County Registrar, embracing a period in all of 
seventy -six years. For length of service, efficiency of work per- 
formed, fidelity to office duties, and the large measure of love 
and respect won from those whom he served, it is quite pro- 
bable that no public official in Norfolk was ever his peer. 
W T hen his life's work was ended every man, woman and child, 
who knew him, felt the loss of a friend. 

His chirography was something wonderful. His eyesight 
remained good, and his hand steady right up to the time of his 
death. When he was an octogenarian he wrote the Lord's 
Prayer, the words " God save the Queen," and his name and the 
date on a circular space covered by a five-cent piece ; and on a 
surface equalling the size of a dime he wrote the Episcopal 
Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the words "God save the Queen," and 
his name and the date. He executed this marvellous feat with- 
out the aid of magnifying glasses, although to the naked eye 
they appear as mere blots. When placed under a glass, how- 
ever, the writing is clear and legible, having more the appear- 
ance of script print than handwriting. From 1821 to 1828, 
and again in 1835-36, he represented Norfolk in the Provincial 
Parliament. In 1861 his son, Aquila, became the County repre- 
sentative, holding the position until Confederation, when he was 
elected by the North Riding as representative in the Dominion 
Parliament. In 1872 he retired. 


Francis L. Walsh, it may be truthfully said, is the father of 
our Registry laws. He built the first fire-proof registry office in 
the Province at his own expense, and he was the first to intro- 
duce the system of keeping separate books for the different 
townships, thereby greatly increasing the public convenience 
and lessening the work of the office. 

Thomas Welch, the old surveyor, settled on Lot 12, in the 
5th concession of Charlotteville. He had two sons Francis L. 
and Aquila M. 

Francis L. Walsh, eldest son of Thomas, married Elsie, 
daughter of Noah Fairchild. He had five sons Thomas W., 
Aquila, Walter, Lewis Francis and Christopher Leigh ; and six 
daughters Harriet A., Rebecca, Elizabeth, Almira, Sarah and 
Margaret. THOMAS W. married Eliza Henchell, and settled in 
Simcoe. He was warden of the county in 1880 and 1881. 
AQUILA married Jane Adams, daughter of Wm. Wilson, and 
settled in Simcoe. WALTER married Mary Kitchen, and settled 
in Simcoe. LEWIS FRANCIS settled in Massachusetts. CHRIS- 
TOPHER LEIGH married Lizzie Holmwood, and settled in Port 
Ryerse. HAKRIET A. married Morris Smith, and settled in 
Vittoria. ALMIRA married Thomas K. Chadwick, and settled 
near Vittoria. ELIZABETH died single, and REBECCA, SARAH 
and MARGARET occupy their beautiful home in Simcoe, in 
single blessedness. 

Aquila M. Walsh, the younger son of Thomas, married 
Margaret, daughter of Duncan McCall, and succeeded his father 
on the homestead. He had three sons Duncan, Thomas and 
Francis; and two daughters Jemima and Mary. DUNCAX 
married Getta Finch, and succeeded his father on the home- 
stead, his son William being the present owner. THOMAS 
married Lucretia Mead, and settled on part of the homestead. 
FRANCIS married Mary Glover, and settled in Windham. 
JEMIMA married George Anderson, and settled in Charlotteville; 
and MARY married Albert Toms, and settled near Simcoe. 

It will thus be seen that the Walsh family are very much 
attached to the land adopted by their illustrious ancestor, the 


old veteran surveyor. With one exception, the first three 
generations settled on Norfolk soil, and this fact alone speaks 
volumes for the loyalty of the Walshes and their strong 
attachment to home and native land. 

The male descendants of this old family have become nearly, 
if not quite, extinct in Wales, Ireland, France and Philadelphia. 
In Norfolk only is the name being preserved, and even here 
the male descendants constitute the smaller portion of the 
family increase. The Walsh family is entitled to heraldic 
honors. A silver plate, bearing thereon the family crest, was 
sent to Thomas Walsh in America, by one Walter Welch, of 
Dungannon, Ireland, but it never reached its destination. The 
heraldic emblem on the old family crest is a representation of 
the " green leek." 



THE brave old pioneers 
who erected the first family 
altars in Long Point settle- 
ment, were actuated by 
most praiseworthy motives. 
The foundation built by 
them was broad and deep. 
It was laid on a concrete 
composed of three ingredi- 
ents fear of God, love of 
home, and loyalty to coun- 
try. This foundation will 
endure forever, and it is 
for us to see that the su- 
perstructure is worthy of 
its foundation. 

One of the most prominent men among these old founda- 
tion builders was Oliver Mabee. The Mabee family played an 
important part in the settlement from its very beginning; 
indeed, it is more than probable that they erected the first log 
cabin in Charlotteville, if not in all Long Point country, as 
will be seen in sketch " Buried in a log Coffin." Oliver was a 
mere lad during his experience on Turkey Point, being about 
sixteen years old at the time of Governor Simcoe's visit His 
mother was awarded a U. E. Loyalist land grant of six hun- 
dred acres on the lake front as the wife of a U. E. Loyalist. 
Oliver's land was located near Vittoria, but he sold it and 



bought Jesse Smith's grant, being Lot 17, in the 5th concession. 
Here he settled and reared his family. He married Mary, 
daughter of the original Abraham Smith. 

Oliver Mabee was one of nature's noblemen. His education 
was quite limited, as, indeed, was the case with all the original 
pioneers who came into the settlement in youth. Just the time 
when they should have attended school, was the very time 
when there was no school to attend. No one of the pioneers 
of this class regretted, in after life, this lack of education more 
keenly than did Oliver Mabee. On one occasion while Mr. 
Mabee was discussing the advantages of an education with 
Judge Mitchell, he exclaimed, " Oh, well, Judge, you've got a 
good education, but I can outrun you." The Judge accepted 
the challenge, and Mabee came out second best. This little 
affair was the cause of much merriment in the settlement. 

Mr. Mabee was a God-fearing man. He set up a Christian 
altar in his home, and the fires kindled upon it were ever kept 
alive. His first duty was to his Creator, and it was the one 
desire of his heart that his children might grow up into useful, 
honorable and God-fearing members of society. For years he 
and Joseph Kitchen led the singing, alternately, in the old 
Vittoria Baptist church, and many of the old people remember 
with pleasure the whole-hearted earnestness that characterized 
his style of singing. These were the good old days of congre- 
gational singing, when old " coronation ' thawed the hearts of 
men, and gave the Christian momentary glimpses of heaven. 
Deacon Mabee was proud of his home. He was affectionate in 
his family, and industrious, frugal and economical in the 
management of his affairs. He was very companionable, being 
generous and exceedingly good-natured. In business transac- 
tion he was quick and displayed good judgment. He kept 
himself posted in business affairs, and knew when and where 
to buy and sell as well as any man in the settlement. He 
drove to Niagara on one occasion with a load of truck, consist- 
ing of pork, veal, butter, eggs and various other things. At 
this time Niagara was a larger town than York (Toronto), and 


Hamilton did not exist. When Mr. Mabee arrived with his 
produce the " powers that were " in old Niagara would not 
permit him to sell roll-butter inside the town limits. In order 
to dispose of it he carried it outside, where he employed a 
woman to work it all up in pound patties. This was in 1825, 
a time noted for scarcity of money in the settlement. 

Oliver Mabee was noted for his loyalty to country. In 
the war of 1812 he was captain of a company of militia and 
took part in the battle of Lundy's Lane. He never wavered 
in his devotion to the Old Flag. His word was as good as his 
bond, and he had no respect for a man who was wilfully 
negligent in meeting business obligations. He served one 
year as High Constable for the District of London, being sworn 
into office, June 1st, 1805. 

Mr. Mabee had three sons Peter, Gabriel and Oliver ; and 
five daughters Elizabeth, Julia, Naoma, Rachel and Abigail. 

Peter Mabee, eldest son of Deacon Oliver, married Abigail 
Gilbert, and settled near Fredericksburg, Middleton. He had 
eight sons Oliver P., Simon, Peter, William, Samuel, George, 
Frederick and Albert ; and four daughters Mary, Abigail, 
Eliza and Rhoda. 

Oliver P., eldest son of Peter, married Mary Laur, and was 
One of the Goshen pioneers in Middleton. He raised a large 

Simon, second son of Peter, married Fanny Leaton, and 
settled at Port Rowan. 

Peter, third son of Peter, married Rhoda, daughter of 
Abraham Smith, of Charlotteville, by whom he had one son, 
William. He subsequently married Eunice Visat, and by this 
marriage had two sons Judson and Walter. He lives in 
Simcoe and is the well-known auctioneer. 

William, fourth son of Peter, and SAMUEL, the fifth son, 
both died single. 

George, the sixth son, married and settled in Michigan : 
and FREDERICK, the seventh son, settled in Green City, Iowa 

Albert, youngest son of Peter, served in the American civil 
war, and died single. 


Mary, eldest daughter of Peter, married William Shepherd, 
who was also a Goshen pioneer, having settled there in 1844. 

Abigail, second daughter of Peter, married Isaac, son of 
Abraham Smith, of Charlotteville. and settled on part of the 
Smith homestead. She had two daughters Aggie and 

Eliza, third daughter of Peter, married William Thorold, and 
settled at St. Williams. She had four sons Charles, William, 
James and Frederick ; and four daughters Mary, Fanny, Elsie, 
and Sophia. 

Rhoda, youngest daughter of Peter, married Edward Ordish, 
and settled in Dorchester. 

Gabriel Mabee, second son of Deacon Oliver, settled on the 
old homestead. By his first wife, Jane (daughter of Alexander 
Cowan), he had two sons Alexander and Oliver D.; and two 
daughters Mary Ann and Cecilia. Subsequently he married 
into the Blainey family, and by this union had four sons 
Gabriel, Ira, James and Tyrus ; and one daughter Elmira. 

Alexander, eldest son of Gabriel, married Eunice, daughter 
of Christopher Oaks, and settled in Charlotteville. 

Oliver D., second son of Gabriel, married Susan Williams, 
and settled in Middleton. 

Mary Jane, eldest daughter of Gabriel, married William 
Finch, of Vittoria. She had two daughters Marilla and Emma, 

Cecilia, second daughter of Gabriel, married George Baker, 
and settled in Michigan. 


Gabriel, third son of Gabriel, married Christine Winters, 
and settled in the States. 

Ira, fourth son of Gabriel, married Martha Jane Stitt, and 
settled on part of the homestead. 

James, fifth son of Gabriel, married Agnes Winters, and also 
settled on part of the homestead. 

Tyrus, sixth son of Gabriel, married Hannah, daughter of 
David McCall, and is the present owner of the David Shearer 

Elmira, youngest daughter of Gabriel, married William, son 
of Duncan Walsh, and settled on the Walsh homestead. 


Elizabeth Mabee, eldest daughter of Deacon Oliver, married 
Elder Samuel Baker, and settled on Talbot Street, in Malahide. 
In the Baker family were three sons Simon, Oliver and 
Judson ; and four daughters Rhoda, who married John Gillett, 
of Malahide; Mary Jane, who married a teacher named Roach, 
and settled finally in the States ; Sarah, who married Cyrus 
Abel, of Malahide ; and Jerusha, who married in the States. 

Julia Mabee, second daughter of Deacon Oliver, married 
David Baumwart, and settled in Charlotteville. 

Naoma Mabee, third daughter of Deacon Oliver, married 
Duncan, son of the original Duncan McCall. Her children are 
enumerated in the McCall genealogy. 

Rachel and Abigail, two youngest daughters of the old 
pioneer, married, respectively, Alexander Cowan and David 
Cowan, both of whom settled in Gananoque, Leeds County. 

Oliver Mabee, the youngest son of the original Oliver, mar- 
ried Matilda Webster, and settled on Lot 17, in the 4th conces- 
sion of Charlotteville, he has passed his 80th year, and lives in 
Vittoria. He had two sons Henry W. and Robert Y.; and one 
daughter, Jane, who remains single. 

Henry W. married Maria, daughter of the late Gabriel 
Shearer, and resides in Vittoria. 

Robert Y. married Nora Raymond and settled on the 
Webster homestead in Vittoria. At present he is a merchant 
of Vittoria and a prominent member of the old Baptist church 
his grandfather was deacon of ; and, furthermore, he leads the 
singing in much the same spirit that characterized his grand- 



WHEN Governor Simcoe visited Turkey Point in 1795 he 
found Mrs. Frederick Mabee and her family living there as 
" squatters." They were living in a commodious log-house 
which stood at the foot of the hill, and they had cleared off the 
light growth of timber, and had cropped about thirty acres of 
land on Turkey Point, known as the " Indian Fields." The 
Governor remained two or three days, being engaged in laying 
out a town site, and planning for his future seat of government. 
He was very favorably impressed with the natural beauty of the 
place, and the Mabees spared no pains in making it as pleasant 
and comfortable for the gubernatorial party as they possibly 
could. Pellum Mabee, the widow's youngest son, was about 
twelve years old, and being a bright, active, pleasant little fellow, 
the Governor took an interest in him. The boy supplied His 
Excellency with cool sparkling water from a spring, run on 
little errands not to the corner grocery for chewing tobacco, 
but in various other ways and showed such a disposition to 
please and serve, and manifested with all such a remarkable 
spirit of native good humor, that the Governor became interested 
in him, and determined to make him a present. Accordingly, 
when the Viceregal party were about to leave, the Governor 
said to M rs. Mabee : " Madam, I wish to make that little fellow 
a grant in his own name. I shall give him a patent for his 
father's improvement of thirty-three acres, and one acre at the 
foot of the hill including the home," and he ordered the entry 
to be made forthwith. No doubt the Governor considered this 


a grant of much consequence at the time one that promised 
future wealth to the young grantee, as he had determined upon 
making Turkey Point a centre of great importance. But " the 
'best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a-gley," and Pellum's 
estate was never broken into by a demand for city lots. For 
two or three short years the youthful Pellum was a " lord of the 
manor " on Turkey Point, but when Parliament moved to Little 
York in 1797 there was a "sickening thud " heard on the end 
of the Point, the paralyzing effects of which are felt to this day. 
Pellum gave up all hopes of becoming rich out of the proceeds 
of Turkey Point real estate, and so he learned the bricklayer's 
trade. Many years later he sold his land on the Point to 
Aquila Walsh, for a mere nominal sum. 

Pellum Mabee was a hunter, trapper and fisher. His only 
playmates in childhood were Indians. They taught him to 
shoot with the bow and arrow, and he became quite an expert 
in the use of that primitive weapon. All the old settlers 
remember the old Mohawk Indian chief, known in vulgar par- 
lance as " Jo Injun," and his brother " George Injun." They 
lived and died on Turkey Point, each having reached an age 
exceeding a hundred years They were great hunters, especially 
" Jo," and were great friends and daily companions of young 
Pellum. They taught him many tricks in the art of hunting 
and trapping. While living on the Point, it is said that he 
found bushels of flint arrow heads where they had been buried 
in different places by the Indians. 

Pellum Mabee married Mary Layman, and settled on his 
mother's land grant. He had five sons Landrine, George, 
Frederick, Simon and Pellum; and six daughters Lavinia, 
Mary Ann, Esther, Drusilla, Elizabeth Ann, and Margaret. 

Landrine, eldest son of Pellum, married Almira Cartwright, 
settled on part of the homestead, and had two daughters 
Matilda and Hulda. 

George, second son of Pellum, married Mrs. Parmelia 
Stewart, settled on part of the homestead, and had two sons 
George E., a school teacher, and Horace C. ; and one daughter, 


Frederick, third son of Pellum, married Margaret Matheson, 
settled on part of the homestead, and had four sons Walter, 
Peter, Kinsley and Frederick ; and two daughters Isabel and 

Simon, fourth son of Pellum, married Miranda Arnold. He 
had one son, Oliver ; and two daughters Rachel Rebecca and 
Emeline Martha. 

Pellum, youngest son of Pellum, married Sarah A. Elliott, 
and settled on part of the homestead. He had four sons . 
Oscar, Henry, Ernest W., and John R. ; and four daughters 
Josephine, Frances, Alice and Nellie. 

Lavinia, eldest daughter of Pellum, the old pioneer, married 
Jacob Simonds, and settled in the States. 

Mary Ann, the second daughter, married Jeremy Becker. 
She died young. Becker then married Abigail Jackson, the 
celebrated heroine of Long Point. Becker was frozen to death. 

Esther, third daughter of Pellum, married Curtis Griffin, and 
settled in Wyandotte, Michigan, DRUSILLA died single ; and 
ELIZABETH ANN and MARGARET, two youngest daughters of the 
original Pellum Mabee, married, respectively, James Crockett 
and Warren Cartwright, and settled in Port Rowan. 



OLD Fort Monroe is one of the choicest old landmarks in all 
that vast region, of country formerly included in London 
District. It is still standing, and when the public is made 
acquainted with its history, it will, no doubt, be visited by 
many people. The name " Fort Monroe," although coined by 
the writer, will be deemed an appropriate one when the historical 
significance of the place is rightly understood. 

'Fort Monroe stands on Lot 14, in the 5th concession 
of Charlotte ville. It is centrally located and cannot be seen 
from the public road on either side. It was the dwelling-house 
of Lieutenant James Monroe, the old U". E. Loyalist pioneer, 
and was built just one hundred years ago. Mr. Monroe took up 
this lot in 1796, and in the fall of that year he began prepara- 
tions for building the house. It>is a two-story structure, its 
frame consisting of a series of " bents," with two cross-beams 
mortised and tenoned to the upright timbers. The timbers are 
pine, about seven inches square, and the " bents " are about four 
feet apart and tied together with girths, mortised and tenoned 
into the upright timbers, giving the building great strength. 
Indeed, if every nail were withdrawn and the frame laid bare 
to the fury of an Iowa cyclone, it might go rolling over the 
country like a Russian thistle, bu it would preserve its integrity. 
A horse barn and a grain barn were erected about the same 
time, but the latter long since disappeared while the former was 
but recently torn down. A very little repairing would put the 
old house in a good shape to resist the forces of inevitable 
decay for another century. 


This old landmark was the first two-story house built in the 
London District, and is, therefore, the oldest one standing. It 
was the first hotel in Norfolk, and in it was kept the first 
store the goods having been brought from New York by 
Duncan McCall. 

But it is not these things that give the place its historical 
significance. It was the " District Town," or judicial and 
municipal headquarters, for London district for more than two 
years. It was a place where all matters in dispute arising in 
Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Norfolk and portions of Brant and 
Haldimand counties, were brought for adjudication, and a place 
where tavern licenses were issued and road improvement orders 
made for all that vast territory. The Court of Quarter Ses- 
sions was established in Charlotteville, because that township 
was the centre of population in the year 1800, and it convened 
at the house of James Monroe, because it was the only house 
in Long Point settlement having the necessary accommodation. 

Colonel Samuel Ryerse was commissioned to set the new 
machinery in motion. A Commission of the Peace was issued 
for London District, and the new justices were sworn into office. 
On the 8th day of April, 1800, the first court of the London 
District General Quarter Sessions was held. Samuel Ryerse, 
Esq., was chosen chairman, and his associate justices were 
William Spurgin, Peter Teeple, John Beemer and Wynant 
Williams, Esquires. Joseph Ryerson, Esq., was the first Sheriff, 
and Thomas Welch, Esq., was the first Clerk of the Peace. The 
first Grand Jury was composed of the following persons: 
Daniel Millard, Nathan B. Barnum. William B. Hilton, Robert 
Monroe, Silas Secord, Lucas Dedrick, John Davis, William 
Cope, Jacob Buchner, Peter Walker, Philip Forse, James 
Matthews and John Austin. 

The, Peter Walker whose name appears in the above list was, 
no doubt, the squatter of that name who was living in a log 
cabin at the mouth of Patterson's Creek when the Austin's 
arrived there in 1794 on their land-hunting tour. How long 
Mr. Walker had lived there previous to that time is not known, 


neither is it known how long he remained sole inhabitant of 
the territory now included in the village of Port Dover. 

The first High Constable was William Budd Gould, and the 
first Constabulary force for the District was made up as follows : 
Moses Rice, for Charlotte ville ; Albert Berdan, for Woodhouse, 
Walpole and Rainham; Simon Mabee, for Walsingham ; and 
John Muckle, jun., for Townsend and Windham. Simon 
Mabee had charge of the first Grand Jury. Albert Berdan was 
the first Court Crier. Nathan B. Barnum and Finlay Malcolm 
were appointed Keepers of a Standard for Weights and 
Measures. Daniel Millard was the first District Treasurer. 
The court divided the district into sections known as District 
Divisions, and established in each a Court of Requests, presided 
over by two or more justices. These divisions were changed 
from time to time as population increased and settlement 
advanced. At first the townships of Rainham, Walpole, Town- 
send and Woodhouse were grouped into one such division, in 
charge of Samuel Ryerse, Wynant Williams and John Beemer, 

Thus was London District organized, although it had been 
marked out on the map of the Province two years previously. 
At this first term James Monroe was granted a tavern license 
being the first one issued in London District. The statute labor 
of Joseph Woolley, of Walsingham, was fixed at two days, and 
that of Walter Anderson, of Chariotteville, at four days, in 
response to their petition for a reduction. The Grand Jurors 
for the summer term, 1800, were: Isaac Gilbert, Walter Ander- 
son, Robert Henderson, Joseph Lemon, Lawrence Johnson, 
Daniel McCall, jun., Abraham Powell, Job Slaght, sen., Philip 
Sovereign, John Culver, Michael Shoft, William Dill and John 
Sovereign Moses Rice, constable, in charge. John Backhouse 
took the magisterial oath as a Justice of the Peace. Hammond 
Lawrence was granted a license to keep a tavern at his house 
in Oxford. The following entry appears on the old journal in 
the minutes of this term : 

" Proclamation being made in due form and the Justices of 


the Peace called upon to give in their record, a conviction and 
six shillings fine against Daniel McCall, jun., for profane 
language on the 20th of June last." The new Treasurer gave 
bonds at this term for 122. 

At the fall term, 1800, the Grand Jurors were : Nathaniel 
Landon, Justice Stephens, David Palmer, Joseph F. Dun, Hugh 
Graham, Samuel Baker, John Fowler, Charles Burch, John 
Wells, James Smiley, Elijah Mudge, Alexander Hay, John 
Mudge, Roswell Matthews, Reuben Dayton, John Eaton and 
Thomas Sayles. 

A motion was made for a movable stocks and whipping- 
post, and Moses Rice was granted a license for keeping a tavern 
in Charlotteville Luther Cooley was fined 40 for selling 
liquor without a license. Thomas Horner was appointed 
Registrar for the counties of Oxford and Middlesex, and John 
Bostwick was appointed High Constable for London District. 

At a special session held November 10th, 1800, a contract 
was entered into with Levi Comber for the building of a court- 
house at the Town of Charlotteville (Turkey Point) at a cost of 
312 10s. Qd., but Comber failed to carry out the contract. 

At the winter term, January, 1801, the Grand Jurors were : 
William Hambly, Stephen Bartow, Robert Davis, Leonard 
Clouse, John Coltman, David Secord, Joshua Fairchild, Benja- 
min Fairchild, Charles Burch, David Palmer, Samuel Caulfield, 
Elisha Hoskin and Seth Putman. Hammond Lawrence, con- 
stable, in charge. 

Robert Davis was fined 23 at this term for selling liquor 
without license. One Ebenezer Allen, of the town of Delaware, 
was indicted on a charge of forgery, and Paul Averill was fined 
five shillings for Sabbath-breaking. Henry Bostwick was 
sworn in as Deputy Clerk of the Peace, Deputy Registrar, and 
Deputy Clerk of the Court. 

A motion was made at this time to allow Sheriff Ryerson 
certain sums for summoning the justices for the several courts 
for the year 1801, as follows: John Beemer, $50; William 
Spurgin, $50; Peter Teeple, $50; Wynant Williams, $80; 


Thomas Horner, $80 ; Daniel Springer, $80 ; John Backhouse, 
$80, and Samuel Ryerse, $80. 

Daniel Freeman and Jabez Culver, sen., came into court 
and prayed for licenses to marry both refused. 

At this term the court took into consideration the subject 
of having a building immediately erected on a small scale for a 
temporary district jail. The following is quoted from the 
court record : 

" It was proposed to build one twenty-five by fourteen 
feet from outside to outside, with timbers of the same thick- 
ness of that proposed by the special sessions of the 13th 
December last, to be divided into two rooms, the one for 
debtors and the other for criminals, by a plank partition, and 
to have a double chimney in the middle, and to be ten feet 
between floor and floor. It is proposed by the court and 
James Monroe to have the said building erected very near to 
the dwelling-house of the said James Monroe, and if erected 
there the court agrees to allow, and the said James Monroe 
agrees to take, one hundred dollars per annum to act as jailer, 
to furnish a good house or room for to hold court in gratis, 
and as soon as the district can build a sufficient jail and court- 
house elsewhere, the said James Monroe agrees to allow the 
district an equitable price for the one now proposed to be 
erected. The justices do agree to try what help they can pro- 
cure in their several divisions by subscriptions, and to allow to 
Conrad Zittle ten shillings, New York currency, per day, to 
superintend and work at the said building, and to pay him 
therefor out of the first assessed rates to be collected for this 
district. The above is the unanimous resolve of the court." 

At the spring term, 1801, the Grand Jury was made up as 
follows: Edward McMichael, Daniel Millard, Nathan B. Bar- 
num, William B. Hilton, Robert Monroe, Lucas Dedrick, John 
Davis, William Cope, Jacob Buchner, Philip Forse, James 
Matthews, Walter Anderson and John Gustin. 

Daniel McCall, jun., came into court and took the oath of 
allegiance, according to law, as an ensign in the Norfolk 


Militia. The Constabulary force was re-appointed at this term 
as follows : John Bostwick, District High Constable ; John 
Gustin, for Charlotteville ; Jonathan Sprague and Thomas 
Smith, for Walsingham ; John Misner and John Decew, for 
Rainham, Walpole and Woodhouse. 

Moses Rice was fined two shillings for swearing, and for 
contempt of court he was put in prison two hours. 

Walsingham was set off as a District Division, and Samuel 
Ryerse and John Backhouse were appointed to act as justices 
of the Court of Request in that division. Court to be held at 
the house of John Backhouse. 

Albert Berdan was indicted for swearing in the presence of 
Lucas Dedrick, one of the jurymen. 

Mordecai Sayles was put on trial for taking more than 
one-twelfth as toll for grinding and bolting at his mill. The 
following witnesses appeared for the King : Leonard Sovereign, 
Jacob Glover, William Walker, Job Slaght, Jabez Culver, 
sen., Griffiths Culver, John Muckle, sen., Michael Shoft and 
Dennis Shoft. Sayles was convicted and fined 10. Joseph 
Chambers was fined two shillings for swearing. 

At the summer term, 1801, the following persons were 
sworn in as the Grand .lury: Abraham Powell, Jacob Potts, 
Joseph Lemon, Daniel McLaughlin, Titus Finch, John Sov- 
ereign, Robert Henderson, Lot Tisdale, Michael Shoft, Philip 
Sovereign, Job Slaght, Philip Bush and John Troyer, 

At the fall term, 1801, the following names appeared among 
the Petit Jury: Andrew Steinhoff, John Steinhoff, Frederick 
Steinhoffand Emmanuel Steinhoff. At this term David Palmer 
was fined two shillings for swearing, and Albert Berdan was 
fined 5, Halifax currency, for assault and battery. 

At the winter term, December, 1801, Noah Millard, of 
Townsend, was granted a tavern license. 

At the spring term, 1802, the Grand Jury was as follows: 
Edward McMichael, John Coltman, Daniel Millard, David 
Secord, jun., Robert Monroe, Job Loder, Lucas Dedrick, William 
Cope, Jacob Buchner, Philip Forse, James Matthews, Jacob 


Sovereign and Elias Foster. Thomas Smith, constable, in 

Susan, wife of Albert Berdan, came into court and relin- 
quished her dower right on Lot 7, 1st concession, Woodhouse, 
conveyed by her husband to Jonathan Williams. The Treas- 
urer's bonds were raised to 240 120 by himself, 60 by 
Jonathan Williams and 60 by William Hambly. 

Nathan Wade was paid 15 shillings and Noah Fairchilds 
1 15s. Od. for work done on jail. 

At the summer term, 1802, we find the Grand Jury as fol- 
lows : Ephraim Tisdale, Leonard Clouse, Leonard Sovereign, 
John Davis, Reuben Green, James Freeman, Benjamin Mead, 
James Derrickson, Joseph Wilson, John Bowlby, Peter Beemer, 
John Slaght and Morris Sovereign. Oliver Mabee was sworn 
in as juror in place of Bowlby. 

Mary, wife of Thomas Welch, came into court and relin- 
quished her right of dower in 400 acres of land lying in the 
township of Humberstone, this day conveyed by the said 
Thomas Welch to Peter Hershey. 

Eber Decew and Samuel Wood were appointed constables for 
Woodhouse ; John Stone and Jesse Smith for Charlotteville ; 
William Dill and Ezra Parney for Townsend and Windham ; 
and Michael Troyer for Walsingham. 

Fifteen pounds was granted the sheriff for summoning 
jurors for the ensuing year. This was the last term of the 
Quarter Sessions held in old Fort Monroe. 

The old court record shows that there was a "town of 
Delaware" at the time London District was organized, and 
that the inhabitants thereof were not all peace-loving citizens. 
The most of the " presentments " made by the grand juries at 
Fort Monroe, were for assault and battery and petit larceny, 
and the larger number of these cases came from the " town of 
Delaware." No traces remain of the old log jail at Fort 
Monroe, and the old journal of Thomas Welch does not show 
that more than one man was ever confined in it. This man 
was Moses Rice, the pioneer tavern-keeper, and his term of 
imprisonment was only two hours. 


But the old building where these pioneer courts were held 
is still standing. The young people of Norfolk may see the 
room wherein was erected the first judicial bench in all London 
District. They may stand in the room where, in their imagina- 
tion, they may see the bar before which the evil-doers in all 
this vast region of country had to answer for their bad behav- 
iour, and where orders were issued for the regulation of affairs 
in the uttermost parts thereof. They may sit where the tirst 
magistrates sat and tread upon floors which were trodden upon 
by their great-grandfathers nearly a century ago. They may 
also see the room where quite a different kind of bar was 
erected the first of its kind in the district a bar before 
which their great-grandfathers were sometimes prepared for 
an appearance before the other bar; and they may see the 
room where merchandise was first retailed in the district. If 
they care not for all these things, they may see the first two- 
story house erected in old Norfolk. 



THE old Boston settlement in the township of Townsend 
dates back to the beginning of the present century. After the 
new province of Upper Canada had been organized, Sir John 
Graves Simcoe, the first Governor, championed the cause of the 
U. E. Loyalists. He visited them in the maritime Provinces, 
whither they had fled at the close of the war, and induced 
them to migrate to the new province. Emissaries were sent 
into the new American States, amply supplied with circulars 
which gave a glowing description of the new province and the 
wonderful advantages awaiting those who chose to settle 
therein. The Governor's object, of course, was to induce all 
those who were friendly to British connection to migrate to 
the new colony; but the movement thus set on foot caused 
many American families to avail themselves of the golden 
opportunities offered to secure homes for themselves, and 
although they were not allotted free lands they were welcomed 
as settlers, and were permitted to take up lands at a trifling 
cost. The only distinction made between U. E. Loyalists and 
other settlers if it really amounted to a distinction was the 
reserve of the lake front for the former, which necessitated a 
rear settlement on the part of the latter. 

The Boston settlement was made by Americans and British 
emigrants principally. Among the first settlers were the Corliss 
and Beal families. They came from New Jersey about twenty 
years after that State ceased to be a British colony. They 
came because Upper Canada offered greater advantages in the 
securing of homes for themselves and their children, than 


could be obtained elsewhere. The most desirable public lands 
in their native State were all taken, and of all the unexplored, 
boundless West, the western peninsula of Upper Canada was 
the only centre of attraction, at that time, for the people of 
New Jersey. These American families entertained no pre- 
judices against the mother-country, and were not averse to 
British institutions. True, many of them had fought for inde- 
pendence, but it was the defence of a righteous principle, and 
not hatred of British rule, that prompted them to take up 
arms. Lord Carlisle came too late with overtures of peace, 
and the severance of British connection was the legitimate 
outcome of the acts of injustice that caused the trouble in the 

When the trouble began James Corliss and his wife whose 
maiden name was Sarah Sherman were living on a Jersey 
farm. When Washington was placed in command of the 
colonial troops Mr. Corliss joined his little army and fought 
all through the war and never received a wound. When peace 
was restored he returned to his farm, and during the next 
twenty years his three sons Ashur, Swain and Uriah grew 
up and married. The little Jersey farm was a home for one 
family; but when this family had quadrupled itself a need 
was felt for more land, and the scantiness of the family 
exchequer made it imperative that it be cheap land. This con- 
dition of things brought them to Boston in the year 1804. It 
was three weeks after making the start before they reached 
the Boston settlement. They brought a number of cows with 
them ; and each morning, during the journey, the cows were 
milked and the milk put into the churn wkh the previous 
night's milking, and during the day's march over the rough and 
uneven way, the milk was churned by the jolting of the 
wagon, thus furnishing the party with a daily supply of fresh 
buttermilk and self -churned butter. 

The party consisted of James Corliss and wife and his 
three sons and their families, and the family of Barzillai Beal. 

Ashur Corliss, eldest son of James, married Magdalene 


Hagerman in New Jersey. He had three sons Ira, Abraham 
and Cornelius ; and one daughter, Charlotte. IRA settled in 
the Western States ; ABRAHAM settled in Waterloo County ; 
CORNELIUS married Elizabeth, daughter of Noah Fairchild, and 
settled in Townsend ; and CHARLOTTE married Cornelius Lane, 
and settled near Paris. 

Swain Corliss, second son of James, married Jane Burch in 
New Jersey. He had three sons Barzillai, Joseph and Lionel; 
and four daughters Charlotte, Olive, Jane and Sarah. The 
family moved to Michigan. 

Uriah Corliss, youngest son of James, married Mehitabel 
Lynch in New Jersey. In this branch were six sons James, 
Daniel, Squire, George, Judson and Uriah ; and four daughters 
Phoebe, Sarah, Amanda and Maria. JAMES married Mary 
Nichol, and settled in Townsend ; DANIEL married Rachel, 
daughter of Abraham Smith, of Charlotteville, and settled in 
Townsend ; SQUIRE married Nancy Parney, and settled in 
Townsend ; GEORGE married Tryphena Malcolm, and settled in 
Townsend ; JUDSON married Fidelia Rice, and settled in Town- 
send ; URIAH married Fanny Bates, and settled in Townsend ; 
PHCEBE married David Norton, and settled in Westminster ; 
SARAH married Job Slaght, and settled in Townsend ; AMANDA 
married Herman Fitch, and settled in Nissouri ; and MARIA 
married George McCool, and settled in Boston. Uriah Corliss, 
the head of this branch, died in 1 864, aged eighty-two years. 

The genealogy of the Corliss family, as given above, was 
dictated from memory by Sarah Corliss, the widow of Job 
Slaght, while in her 90th year. She lives in Port Ryerse, 
is remarkably bright and active for one of her age, being a 
great reader, and able to thread a needle without the use of 
glasses. When Sarah was sixteen years old she rode a horse 
from Boston to Westminster through the forest to nurse . her 
sick sister, Mrs. David Norton. The sister died, leaving a 
young babe, which Sarah carried home with her on horseback. 
It took three days to make the journey. Her brother Daniel 
accompanied her, walking by the side of the horse. This was 


in 1823, and the place where the city of London now stands 
was a wilderness. Governor Simcoe's trail was followed, and 
an occasional small clearing with its log cabin was seen ; but 
the country was mostly an unbroken forest. This lonely 
journey, especially the return with the motherless babe, after 
the death of her sister, made a lasting impression on the young 
girl's mind ; and to make the sad event still more impressive, 
they came upon an Indian battle-ground, as evidenced by pools 
of blood and the trampled appearance of the bushy under- 
growth, and just beyond a group of wounded and bleeding 

Mrs. Slaght knows what it is for little children to eat the 
heads of unripe wheat and cry for bread. She is one of the 
very few living pioneers of old Long Point settlement whose 
early childhood days were spent in the original log cabins, 
subject to the trials, privations and inconveniences of primitive 
settlement in a dense forest. She lived in the era of the 
" stump " mill and the little hand mill furnished by the 

The early settlers in the Boston settlement were mostly 
Baptists, and as soon as their log cabins were erected they held 
meetings, alternately, at their own homes for religious worship. 
At these meetings light was furnished by means of " fat pine " 
torches attached to the old stick-and-clay-mortar chimney. In 
1805 Boston settlement was visited by American missionaries, 
who organized a Baptist church, consisting of thirteen members, 
and Elder Peter Fairchild was ordained to minister to the 
spiritual comfort of the little pioneer church. Starting with 
thirteen names on the church book in 1805, she has furnished 
a membership for six powerful sister churches located around 
her, and yet this old mother-church is one of the largest in the 
Association to-day. 

When the war of 1812 broke out James Corliss was about 
sixty years old ; but, being a blacksmith by trade, he served as 
a smith in the shoeing of dragoon horses. His two sons, Swain 
and Ashur, served in the ranks the latter being at the battle 


of Lundy's Lane. During the war Ashur Corliss received 
thirteen wounds. 

It is said that Swain Corliss was the only man who stood 
his ground when the celebrated " Foot Race " took place at 
Malcolm's Mill. He stood alone, loading and firing at the 
invaders, until he sank exhausted against a tree, bleeding from 
numerous wounds. Even when surrounded by the Americans, 
and being no longer able to stand, he continued to load and fire. 
Not until the enemy closed in upon him, threatening to run 
him through with their bayonets, did he ground arms and 
surrender. His bravery won the admiration of the enemy, and 
they spared his life and carried him into a house near by. The 
firing was distinctly heard by the Corliss families three miles 
away, and that night James Corliss, the father, dreamed that a 
venomous bee had stung him on the throat. Rising at once he 
told the members of his family that Swain was either dead or 
seriously wounded ; and he went out into the darkness, hitched 
his horses to a sled, placed a feather tick, pillows, etc., upon it, 
and started for the scene of the battle. He found him at the 
house where he had been taken, lying in a little pool of blood, 
which had oozed through his saturated clothing, and suffering 
intense pain. Owing to his critical condition it took nearly the 
whole day to convey him to his father's home. There were 
fourteen wounds on his body, some of which were nearly fatal, 
and it was some time before he was able to be carried to his own 
home. The Corlisses never boasted of their inherited loyality. 
They never claimed that the blood shed by Swain Corliss 
possessed any super- excellence by way of loyalty-tinctured 
corpuscles ; but there were some that did claim this distinction, 
who said that Swain Corliss was drunk on that occasion. If 
this is true, then what a pity it is that they were not all drunk, 
for in that case the Yankees would have been either killed or 
taken prisoners, and the bread mills of the wives and mothers 
of Norfolk would not have been ruthlessly destroyed. 

By a former marriage James Corliss had a son, George, who 
settled in Philadelphia, and became a celebrated machinist. He 


built the great Corliss engine that attracted the attention of 
the assembled world at the great American Centennial Exposi- 
tion in 1876. 

The reader will observe that no less than eleven Corliss 
families settled in Townsend, and yet, according to the County 
Atlas published in 1877. the name of Corliss appears but once 
on the map of Townsend. James Corliss, the old pioneer, died 
in 1817, at the age of sixty-three years. 

The history of old Boston Baptist church is, virtually, the 
history of Boston settlement ; and as the Corliss, Beal and 
Fairchild families made up its principal constituent members, 
and Elder Peter Fairchild became its first pastor, a brief 
description of the Elder's family will not be out of place in 
connection with this sketch. 

The Fairchild family is one of the oldest in the township of 
Townsend. It is claimed that Sarah, fifth daughter of Elder 
Fairchild, who, it is said was born in the Townsend cabin on the 
26th day of March, 1794, was the first white child born in 
Townsend. This is a modest claim, to say the least, for if the 
dates in the old family Bible are correct, and Sarah Fairchild 
was born in Townsend, she was, probably, the first white child 
born in the county. This honor has been claimed by the 
McCalls, of Charlotteville ; the Walkers, of Woodhouse ; and the 
Culvers, of Townsend ; but if the 1 Fairchild record be correct 
this birth occurred more than two years before the McCalls 
came to the country, and in the early part of the same year the 
other two families effected a settlement. 

Elder Peter Fairchild married Sarah Fuller in New Jersey, 
and when the Province of Upper Canada was only about three 
years old, he came with his family and settled in the wilderness 
about three miles north-east of Boston. They came in advance 
of the surveyor, and it was several years before they had a 
neighbor. Shortly after the arrival of the Corlisses and Beals 
the three families convened under the trees, near the spot 
where the old graveyard is located, and covenanted with each 
other as a preliminary step towards the organization of a 


Baptist church. This occurred October 21st, 1804, and on 
November 9th, of the following year, the church was formally 
organized. On the 21st day of October, 1806, Elder Peter 
Fairchild was regularly installed as pastor, a position he held 
for fourteen consecutive years. 

Rev. Peter Fairchild had five sons Benjamin, Peter, Abial, 
Israel and Cornelius ; and seven daughters Elizabeth, Esther, 
Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah, Ruth and Roily. 

In the family of Peter, second son of Elder Peter, were four 
sons Alvin, Frank, John and Peter M. ; and three daughters 
Alvira M., Sarah J., and Eliza V. Peter M. is the present 
occupant of the old homestead, and John is a Baptist preacher. 

The Fairchilcls were numerous in New Jersey, and the two 
principal Norfolk branches are, no doubt, offshoots of the same 
old New Jersey family tree. 



LAWRENCE JOHNSON was the founder of one of Charlofcte- 
ville's most numerous and best known families. Especially 
does this fact become apparent when the growth and develop- 
ment of the Baptist church in Long Point settlement is taken 
into consideration. He was one of Elder Finch's converts, 
becoming one of the first deacons of the old Vittoria Baptist 
church when it was organized in 1804. As a deacon, and as a 
member of the church, he was always found at the post of 
duty, ever ready, at all times and on all occasions, to help on 
the good work. He was fearless and conscientious in his 
religious duties ; and his deportment in the every-day activities 
of life, from the day of his settlement to the end of his long 
life, was marked by uprightness of character and a disposition 
to do good. The few old people who remain will remember 
the days when old Deacon Johnson and his wife came regularly 
to church, riding in a lumber wagon, and each seated in an old- 
fashioned, splint-bottom chair. 

Lawrence Johnson was a IT. E. Loyalist, but he came to 
Long Point just a little too late to receive a grant of land. 
When the old home near Forestville was burned, the family 
records were destroyed ; but his son Richard, who lives on the 
old homestead, and has reached his eighty-fifth year, has a 
pretty good memory. From him we learn that the Johnsons 
are of Dutch descent, and that his father came from Pennsyl- 
vania. Lawrence Johnson, it is said, was drafted by the 
Americans at the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, 


and his father furnished a substitute for him. Subsequently 
he was again drafted ; and this time, being a Loyalist, he ran 
away and joined the British army, serving all through the 
war. When peace was restored he went to Nova Scotia, where 
he remained seventeen years. In the year 1799 he started for 
Upper Canada. He came by the way of New York, and while 
in that city he purchased a half-bushel measure. This measure 
is in possession of Richard Johnson, and bears the manufac- 
turer's stamp, dated 1791, showing that the old relic is 106 
years old. 

Mr. Johnson settled on Lot 3, concession A., Charlotteville, 
which lot he bought of Silas Montross. He married Margaret 
Montross, and had six sons Lawrence, Peter, Levi, Samuel, 
Jeremiah and Richard; and three daughters Eva, Leah and 
Maria. He died at the age of eighty-five. 

Lawrence Johnson, eldest son of Lawrence, married Nancy 
Butler, and settled in Charlotteville. He had one son, 
Ebenezer; and four daughters Maria, Martha Ann, Julia and 
Nancy. Lawrence Johnson served in the war of 1812, and 
was at the battle of Fort Erie, and took part in several other 

Peter Johnson, second son of the old pioneer, married 
Catherine Newkirk, and settled in Bayham. He had four 
sons Lawrence, Peter, Jeremiah and William ; and two 
daughters Takie and Maria. His son William settled in 



Levi Johnson, third son of Lawrence, married Margaret 
Backhouse, and settled in Bayham, where he raised a family. 
There was a Jeremiah in this family. 

Samuel Johnson, fourth son of Lawrence, was a blacksmith. 
He married Martha Powers, and settled in Port Rowan. He 
had one son, who died single ; and four daughters Margaret, 
Eva, Marilla, and one who married in the Schram family. At 
present Samuel is living near the old homestead, having 
reached his 90th year. 

Jeremiah Johnson, fifth son of Lawrence, married Ann 


Edwards, and settled on Lot 1, concession A., Charlotteville. 
He had five sons Jeremiah, Richard H., Izetus W., Salem L. 
and James L. ; and three daughters Sarah A., Mary E. and 
Violet M. 

Deacon Jeremiah Johnson was a pillar in the old Forestville 
Baptist church. He was also a prominent man in municipal 
affairs. When the Municipal Act came into operation he 
was elected a member of the first Charlotteville Council 
and was repeatedly elected to the same position for ten or 
twelve years. A portion of the time he was Deputy-Reeve, 
and served in the County Council. His life, both in public 
and in private, was praiseworthy in all respects. He died at 
an advanced age, loved and respected by all who knew him. 

Richard Johnson, youngest son of the old pioneer, married 
Eliza Ann Kern, and settled on the old homestead. He is the 
last survivor, except one, of the pioneer organizers of the old 
Baptist church at Forestville. He had eight sons Lawrence, 
Christopher, Samuel, Richard, John A., Edward, Charles and 
Coville ; and five daughters Margaret, Elizabeth, Sarah Ann, 
Lucetta and Eliza. 

Eva Johnson, eldest daughter of the original Lawrence, 
married Richard Lanning, and settled in Yarmouth, County of 
Elgin. She had two sons John and Coville. 

Leah Johnson, the second daughter, married William Hatch, 
and settled in Bayharn. 

Maria Johnson, the youngest daughter, married Mark Ward, 
and settled near Normandale. Subsequently they settled in 




THE oldest man living cannot remember the time when the 
sand knoll on the east side of Lot 9, 8th concession of Charlotte- 
ville, did not have a house on it, except, indeed, it be quite 
recently, since the old house has been torn down. This old 
relic, which was an imposing structure in its day, has been an 
abode for moles and bats since the time when the present 
active generation of men was not yet born. It was here, in 
the early morning of the present century, that Samuel Brown, 
a New Jersey Loyalist, came with his wife and his five sons 
and four daughters and settled. He left New Jersey at the 
close of the war and settled on land in the Niagara District, 
which he afterwards drew from the Government. This family 
of Browns possessed a strong predilection for pioneering. 
Samuel Brown had settled his family comfortably at Niagara, 
and the only apparent reason for his move to the new Long 
Point settlement, and especially for chosing such a lonely spot 
in the interior of the township, is that he preferred an isolated 
life far removed from neighbors, where he might enjoy the 
solitudes of the forest. And from this lonely home four of the 
five sons went out as pioneers in the township of Middleton. 

General McArthur's troop passed the Brown home on their 
return after raiding the settlement. The family secreted 
themselves in the adjacent forest thickets until the invaders 
with their prisoners had left the ridge m?ny miles behind. 
When the Brown girls became grandmothers they never tired 
of telling the story to their grandchildren. It was the one 


great event of that portiqn of their girlhood days spent on this 
lonely Charlotteville sand knoll. 

The names of the five sons were James, Victor, Samuel, 
John and George ; and the names of the daughters were Mary, 
Sarah, Elizabeth and Margaret. 

James Brown, the eldest son, was born in 1783, in New 
Jersey. He married Priscilla Vansickle and settled on Talbot 
Street, Middleton. Here on Lot 41, south, he kept a tavern for 
several years, and accumulated considerable property. He was 
one of the original pioneers on this first thoroughfare opened 
up in the township. Talbot Street was laid out in 1806, by 
Colonel Thomas Talbot, a member of Governor Simcoe's staff. 
The Governor granted numerous tracts of land to the Colonel, 
lying along the proposed roadway, but the opening of the road 
was not effected until about 1824, and then by local effort 
principally. The Browns were among the first settlers in the 
township west of Fredericksburg, and it is said their settlement 
was made soon after the close of the war of 1812. The Sov- 
ereigns and Lawsons settled at Fredericksburg about the same 
time; but it was not until about 1823 that a settlement was 
made as far west as Courtland by the Byerlays, Tisdales and 

Captain " Jimmie " Brown was an important personage in 
the early times. He was a staunch Loyalist, and dearly loved 
a red coat and cocked hat ; and when he had a sword dangling 
at his side he felt like championing the cause of Great Britain 
single handed. The old training days were red-letter days for 
Captain Brown. He was small in stature, but possessed a 
wiry, cast-iron constitution, which enabled him to withstand 
the buffetings of life's billows for eighty-nine years. He died 
in 1871, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. A. Wilson, after a 
protracted and heroic struggle with the grim adversary. He 
was twice married, his second wife being a Mrs. Elizabeth 
House. He left one son, Talbot ; and four daughters Margaret, 
Priscilla, Mary and Anna ; who married, respectively, John A. 
Wilson, Peter Johnson, Peter Cline and James Clinton. 


Victor Brown, second son of Samuel, married Hannah, 
daughter of Abraham Smith, the old Charlotteville pioneer. 
He was the only son in the family who did not take to bush 
pioneering-. He preferred boating, and placed a mortgage on 
his wife's Government land grant, or, rather, land which had 
been exchanged for it, for a boat. The boat was lost, and the 
land passed into the hands of the mortgagees. Mr. Brown took 
his departure from Long Point, and hip wife returned to her 
father's home, where she lived until she died. They had no 

Samuel Brown, third son of Samuel, married Mary Haley, 
and settled on the south side of Talbot street, about two miles 
west of his brother James. Samuel Brown was a pioneer of 
pioneers. He was a famous hunter and trapper. For ten or 
twelve years he lived in the solitudes of the tangled swamps 
and pine forests of Middleton, without neighbors, and -before 
the "street" was opened up and traversed even by pioneer 
land-hunters. The experiences of Samuel Brown with his 
trusty rifle, his numerous traps, and his faithful dogs, during 
these years of pioneer life in the wilds of Middleton, if written 
down, would make an intensely interesting volume. If he had 
kept a diary with daily notations of his hunting experiences, 
the old relic would command a fabulous price to-day. The 
stories handed down to his grandchildren are numerous and 
varied, one of which, only, will be given here, After settle- 
ment had become well established, the numerous packs of 
wolves that made night hideous in the Middleton woods were 
very annoying to the settlers, and a bounty of six' dollars a 
scalp was paid as a means of exterminating them. Samuel 
Brown was one of the principal recipients of this bounty. One 
Sunday morning he discovered an old she- wolf in the woods, 
and from long experience he had familiarized himself with the 
animal's instincts, and he knew at once that she was searching 
for a suitable place in which to bring forth her young. He 
stealthily followed her from place to place, until she came to the 
hollow trunk of a fallen tree which, after a careful examination, 


she marked as the place of her choice, according to wolfish 
custom. The manner of marking the lair, and the proper time 
to wait after the she- wolf has thus made known her intentions, 
before making an attack, are matters known only to the 
experienced hunter. When the proper time arrived Mr. Brown 
proceeded to capture the sheep thief and her family. The 
mother wolf was not at home, and to make sure of her he 
crawled feet foremost into the hollow tree, and when the wolf 
returned he shot her as she entered the log. He secured nine 
scalps and received $54 for them. This was pretty good pay in 
those times for a few hours work, and it was work of this kind 
that enabled Samuel Brown to pay for 400 acres of land. He 
possessed a rugged constitution, and attained a great age. In 
his family were five sons Victor, Hiram, Squire, Henry and 
James , and three daughters Hannah, Margaret and Priscilla. 

John Brown, fourth son of Samuel, married Jemima Fair- 
child, and settled on Talbot Street, nearly opposite his brother 
James. The old John Brown home and the old " Sarn " Brown 
home farther west, were relics of a departed age before the 
present generation was born. John Brown had one son, Noah, 
who died single ; and four daughters Elizabeth, Ann, Louise 
and Margaret. The latter, familiarly known as " Peggy " 
Brown, married David Long, a carpenter, who settled at 
Fredericksburg many years ago. Old " Aunt Jemima " was a 
familiar figure on the streets of Fredericksburg for many years 
after her husband's death. When the first construction train on 
the Air Line pulled into the village, a large crowd of villagers 
assembled to see it cross the high bridge, and the most astonished 
spectator among them was "Aunt Jemima/' She was past 
eighty, and had never before seen a railroad locomotive. 

George Brown, youngest son of the old pioneer, was thrice 
married. By his first wife, Elizabeth Butler, he had three 
sons Peter, Levi and Patrick ; and three daughters Louisa, 
Matilda and Margaret Ann. He married a Boughner for his 
second wife, who bore him two sons Daniel and James ; and 
three daughters at one birth Emeline, Adaline and Caroline. 


This is probably the only case on record in the county where 
birth was given to triplets, all of one sex, and all of whom grew 
up into womanhood and married. George settled in Middleton, 
about a mile south of his brother James, and lived to be eighty- 
four years old. He had no children by his third wife, Rachel 

Mary Brown, the eldest daughter of the original Samuel 
Brown, married M. Vanalstine, and settled near St. Catharines. 
She raised a large family. 

Sarah Brown, the second daughter, married Louis Earle, 
who settled on a lot near her father's homestead. She had 
three sons Samuel, James and Henry ; and five daughters 
Electa, Elizabeth, Margaret, Melinda and Phoebe. 

Elizabeth Brown, the third daughter, married Henry Butler, 
and settled in Windham, near Fredericksburg. Subsequently she 
married George Anderson, and settled in Norwich. She had a 
large family by her first husband, and two or three children 
by her second husband. 

Margaret Brown, the fourth and last daughter, married 
Henry Sovereign, the old Middleton pioneer. Her children are 
enumerated in the Sovereign genealogy. " Aunt Peggy," as 
she was familiarly called, possessed the same constitutional 
vigor and tendency to long life that characterized all the 
members of her family, having reached a ripe old age when 
summoned to join her forefathers in the silent city of the dead. 



ACCORDING to old Masonic history, the first Masonic Lodge 
in Norfolk made its appearance in 1822, as Townshend Lodge, 
No. 767. For thirty years previous to this date the status of 
the craft in Upper Canada was unsettled ; but during that year 
the clashings between the so-called " Ancients " and " Moderns" 
in the Mother Country came to an end, and the United Grand 
Lodge of England was the result. Right Worshipful Brother 
Simon McGillivray was sent to Canada to reorganize the craft 
and unite the craftsmen of the Province. He succeeded in 
smoothing all difficulties and paving the way for the estab- 
lishing of a Provincial Grand Lodge at York, in October of the 
year mentioned. Old Townshend Lodge had a large member- 
ship in 1832 ; and in 1851 it was transferred to Simcoe under 
the name of St. John's Lodge, receiving its warrant of con- 
firmation, November 14th, 1853, and in 1854 was named 
Norfolk Lodge. 

In 1792 the Athol, or " Ancient " Grand Lodge, warranted a 
Provincial Grand Lodge for Upper Canada, and for a quarter 
of a century this lodge struggled for an existence at York 
(Toronto). In 1812 Amos Dodge, Eliakim Crosby, John 
Culver and several other pioneer masons petitioned a rival 
Provincial Grand Lodge which had established itself at 
Niagara, for a warrant to form a lodge in the township of 
Townsend. The warrant was issued June 24th, of that year, 
and reads in part as follows : 

" Know ye, that we, at the petition of our trusty and well- 
beloved brethren, Amos Dodge, Eliakim Crosby, John Culver, 
three of our Master Masons, and several other brethren, to be 
separated and formed in a lodge, do hereby constitute the said 


brethren into a regular lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, arid 
do hereby authorize and empower our trusty and well-beloved 
Bro. Amos Dodge to be Master, Eliakim Crosby to be Senior 
Warden, and John Culver to be Junior Warden, and to form 
and hold a lodge in the township of Townshend, which is hereby 
designated number twenty-six, and at all times and on all 
occasions, in the said lodge, when duly constituted, to make 
Freemasons, according to the most ancient and honorable 
custom of the Royal York Craft, in all nations and ages 
throughout the known world ; and to " 

The warrant is signed by William Emery, Deputy Grand 
Secretary. Among the old Beemer papers is a lodge certificate 
dated December 27th, 1815, and signed by Sherman Hyde, 
W.M., and Leonidas Bur well, Secretary, showing that John 
Beemer, Esq., was " discharged for necessary reasons rendered " 
from Lodge No. 26. 

On September 23rd, 1822, after chaos had given place to 
order, D.P.G.M. James FitzGibbon granted this old lodge a dis- 
pensation, which declared that until a " warrant shall be 
granted to their said lodge, under the seal of the Grand Lodge 
of England/' it shall be "their sufficient authority." The 
following names were attached to the petition praying for this 
recognition : Oliver Smith, Sherman Hyde, John H. Dodge, 
Ezekiel Foster, Jacob Langs, Gabriel Culver and Morris 
Sovereign. The first three were made, respectively, W.M., 
S.W. and J.W. The dispensation granted bears the following 
head : 

" I, Simon McGillivray, Provincial Grand Master of the 
Province of Upper Canada, acting under His Royal Highness, 
Prince Augusta Frederick, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, 
Baron of Arklow, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the 
Garter, etc., etc., etc, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the 
Ancient Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England, 


It appears that these Townsend pioneer Masons maintained 
a sort of portable lodge. We find it at one time in the old 
" Red Tavern'' in Oakland, and then at "Murphy's Tavern," just 
north of Waterford ; and again we find it securely located in 


an upper room in Morris Sovereign's house at Waterford. 
There are traces of pioneer Freemasonry in various localities, 
but the evidences all point to the fact of there having been but 
one lodge in this section of old London District. In the old 
" Windham Meeting-house" burying-ground many a mossy old 
tombstone may be seen bearing the " square and compass," 
which marks the resting-place of one of these old pioneer 
members of Townshend Lodge, No. 767. 

Among the documentary evidences of pioneer Masonry in 
Norfolk is the following : 

"St. John's Royal Arch Chapter, No. 16, Holden in the 
town of York, Upper Canada. 

" To all enlightened Masons on the surface of the globe. 

" GREETING : Know ye, that Jacob Langs, junior, is a Royal 
Arch Mason, and, as such, is entitled to our recommendation." 

This certificate is dated, April 17th, 1817. 
Masonic history looks to Grand Lodge Registers and other 
provincial records for data ; and, according to this revelation, 
Waterford is made the cradle of Masonry in Norfolk, and to old 
Townshend Lodge is ascribed the honor of being Norfolk's 
pioneer lodge. Notwithstanding all this, the fact remains that 
old Charlotteville is not only the cradle of Masonry in Norfolk, 
but in all that vast region comprised in the old London 
District. The germ of all political, religious, social and 
fraternal development in all Western Ontario, between the old 
Niagara and Detroit River settlements, may be traced to old 
Charlotteville. The "Town of Charlotteville" was an historical 
fact as early as 1795. It was located at Turkey Point, and 
was laid out and dedicated to future greatness by Upper 
Canada's first Governor, Sir John Graves Simcoe. Here, at 
the house of Job Loder, was held the first meeting of Free and 
Accepted Masons in the old District of London. The minutes 
of this and succeeding meetings of the old pioneer Masons have 
been carefully preserved, an exact copy of which is given below: 

" Proceedings had at the first meeting of Free and Accepted 
Masons at the house of Job Loder, in the Town of Charlotte- 


ville, County of Norfolk, District of London, and Province of 
Upper Canada, January 3, 1803. 

" Present, Bros. William Hutchinson, Wynant Williams, 
Joseph Ryerson, Thomas Welch, Job Loder, David Secord, and 
Alex. Hutchinson. 

" Resolved, That they will apply for a regular warrant to 
the Grand Lodge of Upper Canada. 

"Voted, Bros. Joseph Ryerson, W.M. ; Williams, S.W. ; 
Hutchinson, sen., J.W. ; Welch, Secretary. Elected. 

"Resolved, That Bro. William Hutchinson agreeing to 
furnish Jewells, etc., for the Lodge, to be reimbursed by the 
Lodge. " THOMAS WELCH, Secretary!' 

11 At a meeting of Free and Accepted Masons, held at the 
same place, on the twenty-seventh day of December, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three. 

" Present, Bros. William Hutchinson, Benjamin Caryl, 
Thomas Smith, Jacob Glover, John Heath, Job Loder and 
Thomas Welch. 

" Resolved, That application be made for a warrant to 
hold a lodge at this town, in consequence whereof the brothers 
proceeded to choose officers for the said lodge, when the follow- 
ing brethren were chosen : W.M., Bro. Wm. Hutchinson ; S.W., 
Bro B. Caryl ; J. W., Bro. Job Loder ; Secretary, Bro. Thomas 
Welch ; Treasurer, Bro. John Heath. 

" The brethren present then took into consideration the 
ways and means for procuring a warrant and jewels for the 

*' We, whose names are hereunto written, do promise to pay 
in advance, to be reimbursed whenever a sufficiency of money 
shall come into the treasury of the said lodge, the sums 
opposite our names, respectively, into the hands of the Treasurer, 
on or before the first day of June next ensuing, which Bro. 
Job Loder is hereby elected to receive from the Treasurer, and 
therewith purchase the Jewels and a Warrant for the said 
Lodge : Wm. Hutchinson, $10 ; Thos. Welch, $10 ; Benj. Caryl, 
$5 ; Job Loder, $5 ; John Heath, $10 ; Jacob Glover, $2. 
" Adjourned till March sessions next the first day. 

" THOMAS WELCH, Secretary." 

" Proceedings had at a meeting of Free and Accepted Masons 
at the house of Bro. Job Loder, at the Town of Charlotteville 
on the twenty-seventh day of September, 1804. 

" Present, Bros. Wm. Hutchinson, Chairman-elect : Job 


Loder, Junior Warden ; Alex. Hutchinson ; Thos. Welch, Secre- 
tary ; Bond, from York (a visitor). 

" Resolved, 1st. That the officers of this society do stand, 
as heretofore elected for the ensuing year. 

" 2nd. That the Secretary-elect do notify each of the sub- 
scribing members of this society who are absent from this 
meeting, that it is the particular request of the Master- elect 
that all the subscribing members of this society do meet at this 
place on St. John's Day next ensuing, in order to consult on 
matters immediately concerning the future proceedings of this 
society. By order of the Master-elect. 

" THOMAS WELCH, Sec.-elect." 

What these old pioneer masons did on St. John's day, 1804, 
will, probably, never be known. That a lodge was organized 
at an early date, and that it subsequently held its communica- 
tions in the Court-house at Vittoria; that a meeting of the 
lodge was held on the night of St. John's Day, 1826 the night 
the Court-house burned and that the lodge records were con- 
sumed with the general contents of the Court-house, are tradi- 
tional matters of history, which have always been accepted as 

The original documents which throw such a ray of light on 
Norfolk pioneer masonry, and from which I have copied so 
extensively in this sketch, are being preserved among the 
archives of Norfolk Lodge ; and it is to William P. Kelly, 
the present Secretary of that old lodge, the reader is indebted 
for kindly furnishing a transcript for publication. 

During the war of 1812, when American pillage laid waste 
the flouring mills of Norfolk, the torch was withheld in one 
notable case. This was in connection with the little Russell 
Mill at Vittoria. It stood near the spot afterwards occupied 
by the old Red Mill of the Tisdales. It was a little crude, 
unpretentious concern, but it was the only mill in all Long 
Point settlement, except the little Backhouse mill in Walsing- 
ham, that was not committed to the flames by McArthur's 
raiders. It escaped the fagot, not because it was overlooked by 
the invaders, but by reason of the fact that General McArthur 
was a Freemason. Other mills had been burned, and it was 


the intention of the enemy to burn this one also; but Thomas 
Bowlby, the old Woodhouse pioneer, and one of Norfolk's 
pioneer Freemasons, met the invaders on the hill as they were 
approaching the mill, and, with a flag of truce in his hand, 
requested an interview with the General. An appeal was made 
in behalf of the wives, mothers and children of brother masons, 
the source of whose bread supply was being cut off, and that 
appeal which was never made in vain, masonically, fell upon 
" attentive ears," although made to an invading foe, and the 
mill was spared. 

A still more striking exhibition of the wonderful potency of 
brotherly love as taught within the mystic precincts of Free- 
masonry, when exemplified in the hour of peril, occurred at 
Waterford during this same raid. The pillagers entered the 
county from the north the region of darkness and Morris 
Sovereign's mill at Waterford was the first one destroyed. 
Twice it was set on fire and each time Mr. Sovereign and a few 
of his friends extinguished the flames with sods. The third 
time it was fired all through the mill, and Sovereign was given 
to understand that in case he again interfered, it would be at 
the peril of his life. Not heeding the warning he once more 
made an attempt to save his property, when he was rudely 
seized, dragged to the top of the hill, followed by his pleading 
and sobbing wife "Aunt Liddie," as she was familiarly called 
where, just opposite the present Baptist church, one end of a 
rope was placed about his neck and the other end thrown over 
the limb of an oak tree, and as they were about to elevate him 
he gave the Masonic G. H. S. of distress, and he was spared. It 
is said that one or two of his friends were ' in the same box." 

At present there are six masonic lodges in Norfolk, having 
a total membership of 302 master masons. The name of each 
lodge, its location, its number, its membership, its present 
Master, its present Secretary, and the time of holding its 
regular communications, are given in the order above written, 
as follows : 

NORFOLK, Simcoe, No. 10, 83, T. R. Atkinson, Win. P. 
Kelly, Tuesday on or b. f. m.; WILSON, WaterforcL No. 113, 41, 


James Ross, D. S. Bell, Wednesday on or b. f. m.; ERIE, Port 
Dover, No. 149, 52, A. C. Matthews, J. Varey, Monday on or 
b. f. m.; WALSINGHAM, Port Rowan, No. 174, 50, Frank Brock, 
James Ryan, Thursday on or b. f. m.; FREDERICK, Delhi, No. 
217, 41, George Jeffries, A. W. Crysler, Monday on or b. f. m.; 
VITTORIA, Vittoria, No. 359, 35, R. S. Stalker, D. W. McCall, 
Friday, on or b. f. m. 

The lodges of Norfolk are included in District No. 6, whose 
present very efficient D.D.G.M. is T. R. Atkinson, of Simcoe. 

On December 13th, 1861, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons 
was organized in Norfolk, which is known as Ezra Chapter, 
No. 23, with the following Council : Ex. Com. Chas. Kahn, Z. ; 
Ex. Com. C. W. Mathison, H. ; Ex. Com. Dr. John Clarke, J. 
At present the Chapter includes sixty-two members. The 
principal officers at present are ; Ex. Com. Dr. Wm. Kennedy } 
Z. ; Ex. Com. R. Brooks, I.P.Z. ; Ex. Com. C. A. Crosby, H. ; 
Ex. Com. Frank Reid, J. ; Ex. Com. Rev. R. Hicks, Chaplain ; 
Ex. Com. W. P. Kelly, S.E. ; Ex. Com. Thos. Pusey, S.N. ; Ex. 
Com. J. G. Bottomly, P.S. ; Ex. Com. R. S. McGill, S.S. ; Ex. 
Com. R. S. Stalker, J.S. ; Ex. Com. W. P. Price, Treasurer ; Ex. 
Com. Jas. Fisher, Janitor. Regular convocations are held on 
Thursday a. f. m. in each month, excepting July and August. 

Among the first Companions of Ezra Chapter were the fol- 
lowing ; Wm. M. Wilson, P.G.Z. ; Hon. M. N. Foley ; J. Wil- 
liams, the old bandmaster; W. B. Osborne, the old county jailer; 
T. G. Mathison, present County Attorney and Clerk of the 
Peace for Halton County ; Judge D. M. Walker, of Winnipeg, 
Man.; R. C. Lyons, M. S. Park, and L. B. Brown, of the old 
VanNorman foundry firm. 

One of the most distinguished workers in Capitular 
Masonry in Norfolk, is J. D. Christie, Principal of the High 
School at Simcoe. Mr. Christie is P.G.S. of the Wilson District, 
and a zealous worker in all matters pertaining to the advance- 
ment of Ezra Chapter. 

There is no Commandery of Templar Masons in Norfolk, 
but there are seven Norfolk Masons who are members of Odo 

De St. Anand Preceptory, No. 17, of Brantford. Their names 


are as follows : W. P. Price, Robert Brooks, J. B. Jackson, T. 
R. Atkinson, Craig Boyd, Thomas Furlong and J. D. Christie. 
G. M. Gibbs, of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Simcoe, is 
also a Knight Templar. 

Of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 33-Degree 
Masons, there are eight members in Norfolk, namely G. M. 
Gibbs and W. S. Wood, Simcoe ; Dr. Wm. Kennedy, Vittoria ; 
Arthur Bowlby and Russell Bowlby, Waterford ; Frank Brock, 
St. Williams ; and Dr. E. Meek, Port Rowan. 

Among the quaint old Masonic papers which our old Long 
Point pioneers brought into the wilds of Upper Canada with 
them, is the following certificate found among the old Masonic 
papers of Wynant Williams, Esquire. It is well preserved and 
reads as follows : 

" Universal 

" To all Whom it may Concern : WE do hereby certify that 
brother Wynant Williams is a Regular Registered Excellent 
High Excellent Mark Man, and Mark Master Mason, under the 
Warrant of the Grand and Royal Ark Vessel, in London ; and 
that during his stay amongst us he behaved himself as becomes 
an honest man and Mason. 

" Given under our hands and seal of this G. & R. A. V., in 
London, on the seventh day of May, 5792; of Excellent Masonry, 
3284 ; and qf .Mark M., 2806." 

The above is signed by the Master, Senior and Junior War- 
dens, and the Secretary. 

The .oldest Masonic apron in the county is, probably, that of 
Col. Samuel Ryerse, which is at present in the possession of 
Isaac Ryerse, df Woodhouse, grandson of the Colonel. 

A copy of an address delivered by Dr. John Rolph, in the 
Court-house .at Vittoria, London District, in 1824, on the 
occasion of the death of Colonel Nichol, shows that both of 
these distinguished gentlemen were members of the Lodge 
whose meetings .were held in the Court-house at Vittoria. It 
will be remembered that Colonel Nichol, who was appointed by 
the Government to superintend the building of Brock's Monu- 
ment, was thrown from his-horse in the night-time, and precipi- 
tated ; into Niagara's mighty-chasm. 



AMONG the many stalwart young Germans who were aided 
in emigrating to the American colonies, in the middle of the 
eighteenth century, was Raynard Potts, the grand-ancestor of 
the Potts family of Norfolk. This young emigrant settled in 
the colony of Maryland, where he raised a family of sons and 
daughters. Jacob Potts, the old Woodhouse pioneer, was born 
in 1761, and was the eldest son. Raynard Potts was an over- 
seer on a large tobacco plantation ; and, unlike most of the old 
overseers, he managed to control the field forces without the use 
of the "black-snake." He believed the black men and women 
who bent their backs in slavish toil were human beings, and he 
treated them accordingly. He would not overburden them, 
and he looked after their physical comfort. This method of 
treating the colored hands made him very popular among them, 
and thus gaining their good- will he was enabled to accomplish 
more for the benefit of his employers. Notwithstanding this 
fact, the owners strongly repremanded him for it. They said 
it was dangerous to show too much leniency in the management 
of the slaves, and threatened him with dismissal if he persisted 
in his course. One day he excused an aged negro from further 
duty that day, because he had complained of being weak and 
tired, and when one of the owners learned of the fact he rode 
out on the plantation in a fit of rage, and threatened to horse- 
whip the overseer. Mr. Potts dared him to make the attempt, 
giving him to understand that if he did so, the field hands 
would all resent it, and a plantation mutiny would be the result. 
The attempt was not made, but the too-merciful overseer was 


at once relieved of his charge. An application of the principles 
of justice and mercy, was, of very necessity, destructive of the 
system of traffic in men and women, and no man could hold the 
position of overseer on the Southern plantations who looked 
upon the black man as a human being. 

Towards the close of last century the Potts family emigrated 
from Maryland to Upper Canada, and settled at Lyons' Creek, 
not far from the Falls. The family consisted of the father, 
Raynard Potts the mother having died in Maryland ; Jacob 
Potts, the elder son, who had married in Maryland ; John 
Potts, a younger son, and two or three sisters. The names 
of these sisters, who they married or where they settled, are 
matters of family history, unknown to the descendants of Jacob 
Potts, the Norfolk family ancestor. 

In the year 1800 Jacob Potts and his family moved up to 
Long Point settlement. John Misner and his family, and a part 
of the Slaght family, moved up with them. They drove their 
stock along the lake shore, and brought their goods in row 
boats. Jacob Potts settled on Lots 2 and 3, 5th concession, 
Woodhouse. Mr. Potts built the largest barn in that section of 
the settlement. It was built of logs, and was fifty feet long. 
When it was raised the help of every settler for fifteen miles 
around was required, and everybody said Mr. Potts would never 
grow a sufficient quantity of grain to fill it. In the early years 
the wolves were very troublesome in this section, and it was 
necessary for Mr. Potts to build the walls of his log sheepfold 
high and very flaring at the top to keep the blood-thirsty pests 
from destroying his flock. He paid $2.50 an acre for his 
Woodhouse land, but it was at Lyons' Creek where he experi- 
enced that pinch of destitution which fell to the lot of so many 
of our old pioneers. So great was this destitution that on one 
occasion the only possible sustenance he was able to procure for 
his little family was a soup obtained by boiling a bundle of 
green wheat. 

Jacob Potts was married three times. His first marriage 
occurred in Maryland. Of this union there were four -sons 


Raynard, Jacob, William and John; and two daughters 
Elizabeth and Hannah. There was no issue by the second 
marriage. By his third wife, Mrs. Catherine Duff, nee Catherine 
Richards, he had two sons George and Philip ; and one 
daughter, Catherine. He died in 1838, in his 78th year. 

Raynard Potts, eldest son of Jacob, married Esther, third 
daughter of Solomon Austin, and settled on part of the home- 
stead. By this marriage he had two sons Jacob and John. 
Subsequently he married Mrs. Catherine Decew, nee Catherine 
Baumwart, by whom he had one daughter, Margaret. He died 
in 1869, in -his 87th year. 

Jacob Potts, second son of Jacob, married Helen Wyckoff, 
and settled in Charlotteville. Jacob Potts distinguished 
himself during the troublous times of the rebellion. He 
was born in 1785, and died in 1867, in his 83rd year. He was 
a Justice of the Peace, and his public life was such as to entitle 
his name to a place among Norfolk's distinguished sons. He 
had one son, Edwin, who figured prominently as a lumberman 
and. speculator in pine timber. Edwin died in 1876, in his 
68th year, and Dr. T. R. Potts, who died young, after acquiring 
high honors in his profession, was a son of Edwin. Colonel 
Potts had four daughters Sarah Ann, Eliza, Rebecca and 

William Potts, third son of Jacob, married Jennie Davis, 
and settled finally near Fredericksburg. He had several sons 
and daughters, among whom were Susan and Nelson. 

John Potts, fourth and youngest son of Jacob, by his Mary- 
land wife, died single in 1813, in his 25th year. 

George Potts, fifth son of Jacob, and eldest son by the third 
marriage, married Mary Buck, and settled on part of the home- 
stead. He is living, having reached his 84th year, hale and 
well preserved. He has a remarkable memory, being able to 
relate incidents of bush life which occurred when he was only 
four years old. He was a muscular man, and could turn off 
more work in a day than any man in the Potts' settlement. He 
commenced the busy activities of his long life at a very tender 


age, having dug and picked up a bushel of potatoes when he 
was three years old, and when he was ten he dug and picked up 
twenty-five bushels in a day. He could cradle an acre of 
wheat in an hour, and make an axe-helve in eighteen minutes. 
He was an expert with the cradle and scythe, and when only 
thirteen years old he took a man's place as a cradler and 
mower. He never learned a trade, but he could lay out and 
frame a building, and make a pair of boots. Indeed, his even- 
ings were employed in making axe-helves for the market, and 
in making boots and shoes for the family. He used to block out 
and finish up for the market, as many as seven axe-helves 
during an evening, following a hard day's work in the woods. 
Mr. Potts has a distinct recollection of a trip he made through 
the woods to Simcoe with his mother, when he was only four 
years old. They saw a bear perched in the crotch of a tree 
which stood near the site of the present cemetery. They 
hurried on to the store kept at that time by the late Duke 
Campbell, where Mrs. Potts related the circumstance. Arming 
themselves with guns, Mr. Campbell and another man accom- 
panied them on their homeward journey, and when they came 
to the tree bruin was there still, but considering " discretion 
the better part of valor " he dropped from his resting-place, and 
made off into the forest in the usual lubberly manner. When 
George was a little fellow he was playing in the woods one day, 
with his little brothers and sisters, when a dry stub fell and 
killed one of them. This was always considered a great family 
mystery, as there was not a breath of air stirring at the time. 

George Potts had three sons Ambrose, Samuel and George ; 
and five daughters Martha, Orillia, Eliza, Helen and Mary. 
GEORGE and SAMUEL occupy the old homestead. 

Philip Potts, sixth and youngest son of Jacob, married 
Fanny Buck, and settled in Galesburg, Michigan, where he 
raised a family. 

Elizabeth and Hannah Potts, daughters of Jacob, the old 
pioneer, by his first marriage, married, respectively, Jacob 


Lemon and Jonathan Austin. The names of their children are 
given elsewhere. 

Catherine Potts, only daughter of the old pioneer, by his 
third marriage, married a shoemaker named Powers, who 
settled in Elgin County. She had two daughters Melissa and 

The descendants of Jacob Potts have become quite numer- 
ous, and among the old family names none have a more familiar 
sound in Norfolk than the name of Potts. 



THE name of Nathan 
Pegg has been a terror to 
evil-doers in Norfolk for 
over half a century. As 
early as 1840 he was ap- 
pointed Constable by the 
old Quarter Sessions, and 
was reappointed from year 
to year, as was the custom 
at that time. Forty years 
ago he was appointed High 
Constable for Norfolk, 
holding the position down 
to the time of his death, 
which occurred since this 
sketch was first written. 
He reached his 87th year, 

but for several years previous to his death he had been unable 
to cope with the muscular doers of evil He spent his life in 
his county's service a service that is underpaid and fraught 
with constant danger of 'receiving personal injury or of losing 
life itself and it would have been a simple act of justice had 
the old high constable been granted a reasonable allowance 
during the declining years he spent in the old arm-chair. 

Many of our higher public officials are permitted to retire 
from service while comparatively wealthy and not impaired by 
old age, and draw upon the Public Treasury during the 



remainder of their lives. This may be all right ; and if so, 
how much more righteous must be the claim of that official 
who has served the public at the peril of his own life in the 
suppression of vice, and in upholding the dignity of the law, 
until the burden of accumulated years has broken the strong 
man down and incapacitated him for further service, leaving him 
without that ample provision for old age which men engaged 
in the activities of private life are permitted to make ? The 
emoluments of the office of high constable are not sufficiently 
lucrative to enable the incumbent to " feather his nest " as is 
the case with many of the higher offices and when the 
infirmities of old age make it no longer possible to attend to 
the duties of the office, he is justly entitled to, and should 
receive, a grateful recognition for his past services in some 
substantial way. 

Mr. Pegg had a wide experience in attending to the duties 
of his office. He passed through many trying ordeals tests 
that prove the kind of stuff a man is made of and it is a 
matter of record that Nathan Pegg was a man eminently fitted 
by nature for the position he filled for so many years. 

On one occasion Mr. Pegg went over to Waterford to arrest 
a man named Gleason. It was a cold day and he wore a heavy 
overcoat and long woollen muffler. When he came in sight of 
the house he saw his man enter, but when he reached the door 
the man's wife said her husband was not at home. Mr. Pegg 
knew better and at once entered the house. In the kitchen 
he found his man armed with a heavy bar of iron, and, as the 
constable advanced, Gleason threatened to knock his brains out 
if he attempted to lay hands on him. The man then threw 
the bar of iron at Mr Pegg without serious effect, and the next 
instant the constable seized him. Gleason was a powerful 
man, and Mr. Pegg, encumbered with superfluous clothing, had 
his hands full. To add to the difficulty the man's wife came 
to the rescue, and, during the tussle, the two came near 
choking him to death by means of the woollen muffler wound 
around his neck. On a table in the corner of the room lay an 


ugly-looking butcher knife, which Gleason finally succeeded in 
reaching. With this weapon he kept Mr. Pegg at bay and 
finally escaped from the house. During the struggle Mr. Pegg 
received several bad cuts on his wrists. The warrant having 
been destroyed a new one was issued on the following day. 
The man was arrested and tried, and the only punishment he 
received was six months in jail. 

The High Constable assisted Constable Freeman Rose the 
night the latter received the terrible knife wound that ruined 
him for life. The prisoner was a colored tough, named Graves, 
who lived in the old " Negro Quarter " of Simcoe. It was a 
dark night, and when the constables reached Graves' house he 
was standing on the sidewalk. Rose stepped up and arrested 
him in the " Queen's name," and as he did so Graves knocked 
him down with a piece of chain and sprang towards the 
fence. He was armed with a heavy club ; and, as he scaled 
the fence, Mr. Pegg wrenched the club from his hands. The 
constables pursued and caught him, and as Rose was about to 
handcuff him the negro plunged a knife into Rose's abdomen, 
and, breaking loose from Pegg, made good his escape in the 
darkness. He succeeded in getting out of the country ; and, 
years afterwards, was seen by Hon. M. Foley at a hotel in 
Alabama. The wound received by Mr. Rose was a serious one 
and nearly proved fatal. For a whole year he lay on his back 
and suffered great pain, and was never again able to perform 
any kind of manual labor. 

Before Mr. Pegg was appointed high constable he was sent 
to Lynnville to assist High Constable Dredge and Constable 
Tate in the arrest of one John Shaw, who had whipped a 
pound-keeper and taken out some impounded stock by force. 
They found their man at home, and stayed with him till noon, 
and then w r ent away without arresting him. Shaw was armed 
with a brass candlestick, which he adroitly concealed in such a 
way snapping the slide whenever one of them made a move 
towards him that they thought he had a pistol, and were 
thus scared away. Subsequently Mr. Pegg secured a warrant 


for him, but the high constable wanted a hand in it, and so he 
went a second time, taking Fisher, Walker, Murch and Pegg 
with him. Shaw was not at home this time, but after search- 
ing every house in the neighborhood they found him armed 
with a bowie-knife. Fisher wanted to knock him down, but 
this he was not warranted in doing. While moving about 
watching for a chance, Pegg suddenly seized him by the arms 
from behind and he was handcuffed. Shaw was tried and 
convicted, but escaped from jail by crawling through an eight- 
inch space under the stove, and succeeded in getting out of the 

In speaking of his life's work Mr. Pegg said : " I think a 
constable should be given the same powers and allowed the 
same means of defence that policemen in our cities have. The 
policeman carries his baton, and if his prisoner shows fight he 
is armed with the means of overcoming his resistance. When 
a constable steps up to arrest a tough he does so at his peril 
every time. When he lays his hand upon a man's shoulder he 
incurs a certain risk. The man may be armed with revolver 
or knife, and he may be in a proper mood to make instant 
use of it. It may be a test of physical strength, and in such 
case the officer, although he may be equal to his antagonist, is 
placed by the law at a very great disadvantage, as the law 
assumes that every man is innocent until he is proved guilty, 
and the constable is held strictly accountable for any injury he 
may do the prisoner in the act of overcoming his resistance, 
although such injury may be essential to the capture. At first 
I carried a revolver, but after a while I made up my mind that 
the risk of receiving a personal injury, through lack of the 
means of self-defence, was less to be feared than the risk I 
would incur by shooting a man in a moment of undue haste, 
and so I placed my revolver in a drawer and kept it there. I 
have spent my life in the business, and my experience teaches 
me that all constables should not be permitted to carry 
revolvers. Some may be entrusted with firearms on all occa- 
sions, but they do not constitute the majority. A county 


constable who devotes his time to his business deserves more 
pay. His clothes are frequently torn off him ; he is exposed to 
dangers, and, if not endowed with a cast-iron constitution, will 
break down under it ; and though he be spared for a long life 
of service, as exemplified in my own case, he will be unable to 
lay aside a sufficient sum from the profits of the office to keep 
him during the few last years he spends in the arm-chair." 

The Pegg family of Norfolk, are descended from an Ameri- 
can family of New Jersey. John Pegg of that colony had two 
sons, Nathan and John. The former died young in New 
Jersey, and the latter went down to Philadelphia while yet a 
mere lad, and engaged at such work as he could find to do. 
One day a caravan of North Carolina and Maryland U. E. 
Loyalists passed through the city en route for Upper Canada. 
Young Pegg fell in with the party and engaged with them as 
driver and caretaker of the cows and other stock the party 
were driving with them. This was the Solomon Austin party, 
consisting of twelve families, which arrived on the Niagara 
frontier in the month of June, 1798. Young Pegg came to 
Lynn Valley with the Austins, and subsequently married 
Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Solomon Austin, and settled near 
his father-in-law's home, on land drawn by his wife, as the 
daughter of a U. E. Loyalist. He died in 1850, at about the 
age of seventy-five, and his wife died in 1854. John Pegg 
had four sons Philip, Nathan, Joseph and James; and four 
daughters Joanna, Esther, Mary and Elizabeth. 

Philip Pegg, eldest son of John, married Rebecca Ann 
Lemon, and settled finally on the Round Plains. He had one 
son, Jacob ; and two daughters Mary and Melinda. Subse- 
quently he married Mary Morgan, but there were no children 
by this second marriage. 

Nathan Pegg, second son of John, married Julia Ann, 
daughter of Solomon Austin, son of Solomon, and settled in 
Simcoe. He was the old high constable and the last male 
survivor of his generation. He had three sons Wesley, 
Austin and Robert; and two daughters Sarah and Julia. 


Wesley Pegg is one of Norfolk's veteran school teachers; in 
fact, his name is as suggestive of the school room, as his 
father's name is of the court-room. 

Joseph Pegg, the third son, died single, as did also his 
sister Joanna. 

James Pegg, fourth son of John, married Drusilla Rocka- 
feller, and settled in Lucerne County, Pennsylvania, where he 
raised a family. 

Esther Pegg, eldest daughter of John, married William 
Murray, and settled on the Round Plains. She had three sons 
Charles, Wesley and W T allace. 

Mary Pegg, the second daughter, married John Richmond, 
and settled in Simcoe. She had three daughters 1 Drusilla, 
Eliza, and one who settled in Kansas. 

Elizabeth Pegg, youngest daughter of the old pioneer, 
married William Williams, and settled in Norfolk. She had 
four daughters Caroline, Annie, Julia and Minnie. 



IT was about seventy-five years ago when Sarah Corliss 
was a girl. At that time she was one of the smartest and 
best-looking girls in the Boston settlement. More than one 
young fellow, with a coon-skin cap and a brand-new hickory 
shirt, tried to get around the " old man," but Swain Corliss was 
not to be " got around " by every young log-roller that came 
along, whether he belonged to the home settlement or came 
from Turkey Point, or any other centres of Long Point refine- 
ment. He did not bring up his girls in the dense woods and 
on the rich, sticky soil of old Townsend, to be carried off by 
fellows who were not " all wool and a yard wide." He had 
whittled out a home in the rough, and he knew that the 
youngsters who were " shinin' " around his comely daughters 
would have to do likewise if they ever had homes of their 
own ; and he had learned from the hard school of experience 
what kind of pluck a young fellow must possess, and what sort 
of 'stuff he must be made of to accomplish this task. He 
knew that his girls were duly qualified and abundantly able to 
perform their share of the labor in the work of home-building, 
and he determined not to accept any one as a son-in-law who 
was unworthy. This was all right if the standard had not 
been raised too high. To compare the average young man of 
the settlement with his own girls in all matters pertaining to 
individual worth or moral excellence, was to place the young 
men at a very great disadvantage in their endeavors to win 
the over-watchful father's approval. 

" Love goes where it is sent " was a philosophical old saying 


in our good old grandmothers' days, and one that they 
religiously believed in ; and so Sarah Corliss fell in love with 
Job Slaght. It was in the days of bows and arrows, and 
Cupid, no doubt, was a better marksman at that time than he 
is nowadays. In those days Cupid was looked upon as a 
veritable tyrant. His darts were shot oft' arbitrarily without 
the least preconsideration as to matters of adaptability, mar- 
riage endowments, " compatibility of temper " or worldly 
prospects ; and the invincible little missiles always " went 
where they w r ere sent." Job Slaght was not " all wool " 
according to the standard of inspection adopted by Mr. Corliss, 
and so, when Sarah fell in love with him, the paternal head of 
the Corliss log-house raised a strong and vigorous objection. 
He told her she would lower the dignity of the house of Corliss 
if she married Job Slaght, and that if she persisted in her 
unwise course he would be compelled to put down his cow-hide 
boot squarely and firmly, and nip the whole business in the 
bud. Was the bud nipped ? Sarah Corliss is within a few 
months of her 91st milestone in the journey of life, and as she 
can tell the story as well to-day as she could seventy years 
ago, we will let her tell it herself : 

" I never openly and wilfully disobeyed my father but once 
in my life, and that was when I got married. Father didn't 
like Job and he didn't want me to marry him. But you see 
I'd promised Job, and I had to either disobey father or break 
my word and honor with the man I loved and wanted to marry. 
Put any girl in a place like that, and if she is conscious of 
having a heart and she would be if it wasn't calloused all 
over with the evil effects of a vain, trifling, idle life she 
would be guided by its pulsations and the dictations of her 
own conscience rather than the cold business-like advice of a 
father, however kind and affectionate he might be. Job and I 
had to run away to get married. He hired a man to take us 
down to Squire Bowlby's in the night in his lumber wagon. 
Nowadays the girls go away in a covered buggy, or in the 
cars, when they cut up a caper of this kind. Well, the Squire 


married us, and on our way back we met father, who passed us 
without sayin' a word. When he got down to Waterford the 
tavern-keeper told him that we were lawfully married, and 
that the only thing he could do about it was to go home, make 
the best of it and get up a nice little " infare." Father didn't 
give us the " infare " or get over it till he saw that Job and I 
were gettin' along all right. We stayed at a neighbor's that 
night, and the next day we took possession of our home. My, 
what a place it was ! Job's mother had been dead about eight 
years, and the old man had let everything go to rack an' ruin. 
The land had been cropped by the neighbors in any way to 
suit themselves, and even the fences had been carried off. Job 
was handy with tools, and he had been away from home 
workin' for himself. In the old log-house there were three old 
rickety, broken-down chairs, and an old square table. Well, 
the first thing Job did was to buy six cups and saucers, six 
plates, six knives and forks and a tea-pot. A bedstead was 
made by fitting small poles into auger-holes bored into the 
logs. These poles were about six feet long, and were small 
enough to have a good spring. The lower ends of these spring 
poles lay on a cross piece, one end of which was inserted in an 
auger-hole in the wall and the other supported by an upright. 
Job got a feather bed and some bedding from a man who owed 
him for work done, and being a carpenter he soon got things 
in a livable shape. In- the barn there was a quantity of flax 
which had been grown before everything had gone to rack, 
and as soon as we got things righted up abit in the house, Job 
went out to work and I pitched into that flax. Job broke it 
for me and then I took off the shives, hetcheled it, takin' out 
the tow, which was carded and spun on the big wheel like wool, 
and which furnished the fillin' in weavin' the coarser cloth 
used for towelling, tickin', bagging, etc. The flax was spun on 
the little wheel. We were married in October, and during the 
winter I made up forty-three yards of cloth out of that flax, 
and this gave us a supply of table cloths, towels, sheets, tickin', 
bags, etc.; and while I was thus engaged, Job worked around 


for wheat and pork, and, when not employed in this way, 
improved the time in makin' me a wash-tub, a little churn and 
two or three pails. In the spring Job bought a cow, and the 
busy work of life began. God in His mercy smiled on our 
efforts, and we prospered ; but, my, my ! how quickly it has all 
passed away. It seems only night before last that I climbed 
into that lumber wagon and bumped along over the corduroy 
by the side of Job, on our way to Squire Bowlby's, and yet 
many years have come and gone since Job's life work was 
ended, while I am passed ninety. Yes, tell the story to the 
young, and if it will inspire them with renewed courage in 
fighting the battles of life, or lead them to a keener realization 
of the rapid flight of time, you will be doing a good work." 

Job Slaght was a grandson of Job Slaght, one of the 
original pioneers of old Townsend, whose history is given else- 
where in this volume. The " original " Job Slaght had five 
sons Henry, Job, John, Cornelius and Aaron ; and three 
daughters Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary. 

Henry Slaght, the eldest of these sons, married Abigail 
Heminover, and settled about two miles north of Waterford, 
in the 5th concession of Townsend. They had two sons Job 
and Parney ; and two daughters Elizabeth and Mary. JOB, 
the elder of these two sons, married Sarah Corliss, the subject 
of this sketch. He succeeded his father on the old homestead, 
but subsequently sold out and settled near Port Rowan, where 
he died. His aged widow lives in Port Ryerse. They had two 
sons Andrew and Philander ; and three daughters Caroline, 
Phoebe and Mary. 




NOT many people in Norfolk ever heard of Newport, 
although thousands annually visit the spot where it once 
flourished. Old Newport is known to-day as " The Glen." 
Many of our young people have^ visited this beautiful little 
leaf -embowered summer resort, and sat beneath the grand old 
trees, or strolled beside the cool, clear waters of the murmuring 
brook that winds around through what is called "Lover's 
Retreat," little dreaming that this quiet, peaceful resting-place 
was once a business centre of considerable importance. The 
spot where Sunday-school scholars now dance and skip in 
childish glee, was once the place where whiskey was made. It 
was the place where the " chaw-chaw " of the old upright saw 
was heard in sawing logs into lumber. It was the place where 
the hum of machinery made music in the little valley, in grind- 
ing wheat into flour and in "chopping" rye and corn for the 
neighboring distilleries ; and it was the place where merchandise 
was sold to farmers who came with loads of grain from farms 
many miles away. What a wonderful transformation has been 
brought about ! Where once upon a time the air was laden with 
dust and the earth strewn with saw-dust, slab-piles and dirty 
pools of distillery slops, are now seen clean, winding walks, 
rustic bridges, green terraces, floral beauty and clear waters. 

Is is claimed by one branch of the Mabee family, that 
Pellum, youngest son of the original Frederick Mabee, built the 
first distillery at this place, which he afterward sold to Silas 
Montross. Mr. Montross was an early settler, having settled on 
the lot adjoining Newport on the east, and he operated this 


distillery at an early date. Elder Finch and his son, Thomas, 
built a grist-mill at Newport in 1807, which was burned down 
by the Americans during the war of 1812. Mr. Montross' 
distillery was sacked at the same time. The date of this event 
is given as May 14th, 1814. Before the embers were cold, plans 
were laid for a new mill. It was a loss deeply felt by the set- 
tlers, and they turned out en masse and helped to erect the 
new mill, which was built of logs, and completed and in opera- 
tion within six weeks from the time the old mill was burned. 
In the adjustment of losses the Finches received $500, or fifty 
per cent, of the appraised value of the mill. Thomas Finch 
had embarked in the mercantile business in Vittoria, which did 
not prove successful, and an interest in the Newport property 
was sold to one McQueen. But the complication was too 
much for them, and in about the year 1825 their interest 
passed into the hands of Cross & Fisher. The old firm had 
commenced to build a new mill, which was finished by the 
new firm after they came into possession. 

The business conducted by Cross & Fisher in Long Point 
settlement was a success from the very start. Donald Fisher 
began his business career as a young clerk in the city of 
Montreal. Thomas Cross was a young Vermonter, engaged in 
the cattle trade. His principal market was Montreal, and it 
was while visiting this market he became acquainted with Mr. 
Fisher. This acquaintance ripened into friendship, resulting in 
the formation of a business partnership. 

But they were undecided as to the best place for the location 
of their business. They finally decided that it would be either 
Vittoria, in the Long Point settlement, or Amherstburg, in the 
Detroit River settlement. It seems they were unable to make 
a choice between these two, and so they left it to blind chance 
by tossing up a penny heads for Vittoria ; tails for Amherst- 
burg. Heads won. Thus it is that the merest chance some- 
times changes the drift of men's lives, fixing thereby the future 
destinies of succeeding generations. 

They came to Long Point about the year 1816, and opened 


a general store in Vittoria ; and when they purchased the 
Newport property they moved their mercantile establishment 
to that place. In addition to the distillery, grist-mill and store, 
they built a saw-mill all of which they operated about ten 
years. During this time Newport was a busy place. They 
built two vessels, bought rye and wheat extensively, furnished 
" chop " for the Anderson distillery, and did a considerable 
shipping business. The annual volume of business transacted 
by them, amounted, it is said, to a sum varying from $50,000 
to $60,000. The mill was propelled by an over-shot wheel, and 
old settlers speak in glowing terms of the excellence of the 
flour made there, and the quantity of flour received from a 
bushel of wheat being as high as forty-three pounds in some 
cases. Just before the Rebellion the firm dissolved, with assets 
aggregating $60,000. 

Mr. Cross never married. He died at the Anderson home- 
stead in 1860, in his 72nd year. Mr. Fisher continued the 
milling business, but before the middle of the century was 
reached, the old mill was abandoned, after which it became a 
mass of ruins. Mr. Fisher died in 1867. 

Donald Fisher married Matilda, daughter of Silas Montross, 
and had two sons John and Donald. The former married 
Harriet Sheppard, and settled in Michigan ; and the latter 
married Jennie, daughter of John Machon, of Vittoria. Miss 
Matilda, daughter of Donald Fisher, and her brother, Donald, 
are the present owners of " The Glen," and while this 
proprietorship continues the public may rest assured that the 
little resort will be kept morally clean. 



THE Misners of Norfolk are of Jersey Dutch descent. It is 
not known how many generations of Misners lived and died in 
New Jersey ; indeed, nothing is known of the family history 
back of John Misner, the old Woodhouse pioneer, head of the 
family in Norfolk. John and one brother came from Morris 
County, near Hackettstown, in 1790, and settled on Lyons' 
Creek, near the Falls of Niagara. In 1800, John Misner and 
his family came to Long Point settlement. They brought their 
household goods up in row-boats and drove their stock along 
the lake shore. John Misner settled on Lot 1, 4th concession 
of Woodhouse. 

Mr. Misner lived only twelve years in his new home. In 
1812 typhus fever was epidemic in the settlement, and many 
deaths were caused by it, including Mr. Misner. 

One of the most singular coincidences on record in Norfolk 
county occurred at this time in connection with Mr. Misner's 
death. As before stated, he had a brother who came from 
New Jersey to Canada with him. This brother remained at 
Niagara, and when Mr. Misner died a messenger was dispatched 
on horseback to carry the sad tidings to the brother at 
Niagara. Now, when this messenger reached a point about 
midway between Woodhouse and the place of his destination, 
he met a stranger on horseback who was, apparently, in as 
great a hurry as himself. In those days, when the country 
was sparsely settled and long stretches of unbroken forest lay 
in the way of the lonely traveller, it was quite customary when 
strangers met to halt and make enquiries about the way, and 


not infrequently exchange complimentary bits of information 
pertaining to the nature of each other's business. Imagine the 
surprise of these two strange horsemen when they learned the 
nature of each other's business. The two Misner brothers had 
died at the same time, and the two messengers had been simul- 
taneously dispatched with a similar message of death, and had 
met each other in the woods at a point about midway between 
the two bereaved homes. After a short interview each 
returned to his home without delivering the message entrusted 
to him, but bearing a new message which added to the grief 
of the two bereaved homes. We meet with many strange 
coincidences in life, but this one deserves special mention for its 
marked singularity. In 180 L Mr. Misner was appointed 
constable for Woodhouse, Walpole and Rainham. 

John Misner married Mary Shular in New Jersey, and had 
four sons Jacob, John, Henry and Adam. All were born in 
New Jersey. 

Jacob Misner, eldest son of John, was about thirteen years 
old when the family moved from New Jersey and about 
twenty-three when they came to Long Point. He went away 
from home when a young man, and it is not known what 
became of him. 

John Misner, second son of John, married Elizabeth Lemon, 
and settled on the lot upon which old St. John's Church stands. 
He had seven sons Jacob, Adam, Joseph, Henry, John, 
William and James ; and six daughters. The eldest daughter 
married into the Sharp family, and the names of the other 
five were Esther, Sarah, Catherine, Rebecca and Ann. 

Henry Misner, third son of John, married Sarah Forsythe, 
and settled in Townsend. He had no children. 

Adam Misner, youngest son of John, was twice married. By 
his first wife, Temperance Williams, he had one son, Jacob ; 
and by his second wife, Elizabeth Smith, he had seven sons 
Harmon, Adam, Joseph, Robert, David, James and Zebulun 
Landon; and three daughters Susan, Charity and Rachel. 
Adam Misner, the father of this branch, was born in 1783, and 


was seven years old when the family came to Canada. While 
journeying from New Jersey to the new country he rode on 
the back of a horse behind his mother. One day while the 
mother was leading a horse belonging to a party who was 
moving in company with them, the horse jerked back suddenly 
and threw Mrs. Misner head formost to the ground, leaving the 
frightened young Adam sitting alone on the horse. Adam was 
seventeen when the family moved up from Niagara. Elizabeth 
Potts, who afterwards married Jacob Lemon, was about his 
own age, and when the party came to the mouth of Nanticoke 
Creek, she was afraid to ford it. Adam gallantly came to the 
rescue, and, taking her in his arms, carried her around in the 
lake on a sand bar. 

It is claimed that Adam Misner took to the mill the first 
grist ground in Woodhouse. The mill was located at Port 
Ryerse, and the settlers had been notified that on a certain day 
the mill would be in readiness to grind, and when the day 
arrived Adam was sent to " The Port " with a bag of wheat. 
He carried the grist on the back of a horse, and was the first 
to arrive ; and while the grist was being ground, he had to 
turn the bolter by hand. Mr. Misner died in 1872. having 
reached his 90th year. 

Charles Misner, the Simcoe baker, is a son of Harmon, son of 
Adam. DAVID, son of Adam, occupies the old homestead at 
present. The descendants of John Misner contribute in no 
small way to the individual worth that makes Norfolk's yeo- 
manry second to none in our glorious province. 



THOMAS BOWLBY was one of the pioneer magistrates of 
Woodhouse. Before the Rev. Francis Evans came to Wood- 
house, Squire Bowlby was frequently called upon to tie con- 
jugal knots, and the knots tied by him were, no doubt, as 
securely tied and as productive of connubial bliss as the ones 
tied nowadays by the more dignified spiritual advisers of the 
people. Many leading Norfolk citizens of by-gone generations 
were launched on the sea of matrimony by Squire Bowlby. 
On one occasion a young German and his buxom sweetheart 
came to the Squire's to be made husband and wife. The blush- 
ing bride was very plump and pretty, and when the little 
formality was gone through with, the Squire could not resist 
the temptation of planting the first kiss on her rosy lips. The 
" smack " that resounded through the room made poor Hans 
grind his teeth, and clinch his fists. Any Dutchman placed in 
like circumstances, who could witness such a scene without 
entering a vigorous protest, wouldn't be a Dutchman. 

" Py shimminy ! Meester, vot for you do dot ? " yelled Hans, 
as he beat the air in a paroxysm of rage. 

" Why, my dear fellow," exclaimed the Squire, smacking his 
lips so as not to lose any of the stolen nectar, " it is customary 
for the official performing the marriage ceremony to take pre- 
cedence in saluting the bride." But Hans was in no mood for 
being pacified by an explanation he did not understand, and 
while the Squire tried to explain the situation, the irate 
husband made a hasty preparation to leave. Placing Barbara 
between himself and the open door, he faced the Squire and, 


gesticulating wildly with both hands, gave that officer of the 
peace the following farewell salute : 

" Ef you vas not bigger ash I, Meester Squire, I vood 
knock you mit mine fisht down. You vos no shentlamens. You 
got no pishness mit kissing dot Barbara, und I git eben mit 
you fur dot pishness. Py shimminy ! you git from your ped 
oud von mornings und your parns und dot udder pildings 
you vill not see. You old fools, I git eben mit you fur dot 
pishness, und I not pay you von t m cent fur dot marrish 

During this outburst of pent up wrath Barbara tugged 
.away at his coat tails, but Hans was determined on giving the 
Squire a piece of his mind, and he gave it. But the Squire 
did not grieve over the loss of his fee the delicious flavor of 
that kiss was ample satisfaction for his magisterial services. 
Years afterwards, while in the western part of the county, he 
met the man who had threatened to " git eben mit him," and 
Hans took a handful of silver from his pocket and wanted to 
pay Mr. Bowlby any sum he chose to name for marrying him. 
He also begged pardon for threatening to burn his barns. 
" Ash to dot kish," said the now middle-aged man of matured 
sense, " I vood do de same ting mineself now, ef I got a goot 

The old Government deed for the Bowlby grant of 400 acres 
in the 1st and 2nd concessions of Woodhouse has been pre- 
served with its massive pendent seal, and is in possession of 
Mr. Bradford Bowlby, present occupant, in part, of the old 
homestead. It was approved and signed by Peter Russell, 
October 24th, 1798. It was a grant made in consideration of 
certain settling duties to be performed by the grantee. It is said 
by members of the family that it was a U. E. Loyalist grant. 
If this be correct, Thomas Bowlby must have been the son of a 
U. E. Loyalist, as he was but a young child during the war of 
the Revolution. It is claimed by some that the American grand- 
ancestor of the family settled in Nova Scotia, and that Thomas, 
while a mere lad, was put on board an English vessel for the 


improvement of his health, and that the vessel was captured 
by a French war ship, and that subsequently he was landed at 
a New Jersey port. It is claimed further, that Thomas fell in 
with a New Jersey planter named Axford with whom he lived 
for a time ; that he wooed and won the affections of the planter's 
ninth daughter, and married her, and that after their eldest 
child was born, in 1796, they came to Canada, and settled in 
Woodhouse. If this tradition be true, it leaves the connection 
between Thomas Bowlby and the U. E. Loyalists in the dark. 
A U. E. Loyalist was a subject of Great Britain who lived in 
one of the thirteen colonies, and who remained loyal to the 
Crown when the colonies threw off their allegiance in 1776. If 
it was Thomas Bowlby, of Woodhouse, who was on the vessel 
captured by a French man-of-war, he must have been a mere 
child, as the event must have occurred previous to the treaty 
of peace, in 1783, and even at this date Thomas Bowlby could 
not have been more than thirteen years old. It is said that 
Adam Bowlby, of Waterford, a nephew of Thomas Bowlby, 
also came from New Jersey. In view of the above alleged 
fact, and also the U. E. Loyalist claim, it would seem that a 
part of the story, at least, must relate to the father of Thomas 
Bowlby. These old family traditions have lost many material 
connecting links since the old arm-chairs became vacant, and in 
the absence of positive documentary evidence we must make 
a wide allowance for them. 

It is said that Mr. Axford Thomas Bowlby's father-in-law- 
was wealthy, and kept a number of colored servants, or slaves, 
as they were virtually at that time, and that he presented Mrs. 
Bowlby with one named Dinah. They brought this slave to 
Long Point with them, and it is said she was the first one of 
her race that came into the county. Before they left New 
Jersey, Dinah was as much the lawful property of Mrs. Bowlby 
as was the horses, and the cow that her father gave her, but if 
she came into Long Point settlement as such, she must have 
been smuggled in, for three years previous to this the new 
Legislature passed a law prohibiting the bringing in of any 


more slaves, and providing for the final extinction of slavery in 
the Province. In after years Dinah wanted to marry, and 

I there being no one of her own color here she went to New 
Jersey, and married. After her husband's death she returned 
to her old place with Mr. Bowlby's family, and subsequently 
married a white man, who kept a tavern somewhere in the 
western part of the county. After her second marriage she 
used to say that her first husband was much the better man. 
Dinah was an expert cook and a neat housekeeper, and it is 
said the sight of a hair in the butter would completely destroy 
her appetite for two weeks. 

It is said that Mr. Axford gave his daughter a considerable 
sum of money for investment in the new country, and a house- 
keeping outfit that was considered elaborate at that time, yet a 
like outfit would not be accepted as a gift in our day, by any 
girl in quite moderate circumstances. A wagon load of house- 
hold goods drawn by a span of horses ; a cow tied to the rear 
end of the wagon ; a young man occupying the driver's seat ; 
a young woman with a babe in her arms, and a colored female 
servant ensconced in a nicely arranged alcove this was the 
pioneer Bowlby outfit that came to a halt where the old Bowlby 
homestead is located, in the second concession of Woodhouse. 
It is said the pioneer log-cabin was erected in 1797, just a 
hundred years ago. The cow a present from Mrs. Bowlby's 
father furnished the little party with milk and butter during 
the long, tedious journey. As in all similar cases, the jolting of 
the wagon churned the milk into butter, giving them a fresh 
supply each day. But the poor cow trudged that 500 miles 
only to meet a horrible death in the Canadian forest. She 
browsed in the w r oods, and generally came home at night ; but 
one night she failed to put in an appearance, and the family 
supposed she had wandered away. After searching for her 
several days her dead body was found in the woods. Her tail 
had caught fast to the branch of a tree, and the poor brute had 
slowly died with thirst and starvation. 

Thomas Bowlby married Sarah Axford, daughter of a 


wealthy planter in New Jersey. He had six sons Axford, 
Richard, Thomas, Woolster, John Alexander and Abraham; 
and one daughter, Martha Ann. The eldest was born in New 
Jersey, and the others in Woodhouse. 

Axford Bowlby, eldest son of Thomas, was born in 1794. 
He married Hannah, daughter of Philip Beemer, and settled 
near Port Dover. He succeeded John Decew in the first Talbot 
District Council. He had two sons Lewis and Hiram ; and 
two daughters Sarah Ann and Helen. 

Richard Bowlby, the second son, died young. 

Thomas Bowlby, third son of Thomas, was born in 1801, 
married Harriet Lymburner, and settled near the old home. 
He left one daughter, Sarah. 

Woolster Bowlby, the fourth son, died young, as did also 
ABRAHAM, the youngest son. 

John Alexander Bowlby, fifth son of Thomas, was born in 
1808, and died in 1881, in his 74th year. He married Rachel Ann 
Birdsall, and succeeded to the old homestead. He had three 
sons Alexander, Thomas and Bradford; and six daughters 
Sarah, Martha Ann, Francis Almena, Annie Maria, Emma and 
Phoebe. Bradford succeeded to, and at present occupies, the old 

Martha Ann Bowlby, only daughter of the old pioneer, was 
born in 1803, married Andrew Dobbie, and settled in Bayham. 
-She had two sons Thomas and Andrew. 

Squire Bowlby, the pioneer head of this family, was one of 
Norfolk's pioneer Freemasons. He was the means of saving 
the little Russell mill at Vittoria during McArthur's raid in the 
war of 1812, as described in sketch "Pioneer Freemasonry." 

In the early years of the settlement the nightly depreda- 
tions of the wolves occasioned much loss and annoyance to the 
settlers. Tight pens built of logs had to be provided for the 
herding of sheep during the night time, and, in spite of the 
utmost diligence, an occasional wolf would steal into the fold. 
One morning the Squire found a wolf in his sheep pen, and shot 
at it, but failed to kill it. In its efforts to escape, its tail 


accidentally whisked through a crack between the logs, and 
quick as a flash the Squire caught hold of it and called for his 
wife. When Mrs. Bowlby arrived on the scene she seized the 
caudal appendage with a death grip, and* clung to it, while the 
Squire went inside and despatched the sheep thief with a 
murderous club. 

Some time during the first quarter of the present century, 
Adam Bowlby, a nephew of Thomas Bowlby, came to Canada 
from New Jersey. He was a poor boy, and lived with his uncle 
for a number of years. He married Elizabeth Sovereign, of 
Waterford, and settled at that place. He had five sons Dr. 
Alfred, Dr. David, Ward, John the lawyer, and William ; and 
one daughter, Arsula. This family distinguished themselves 
with a good education. 



THE first historical event in county history is the survey of 
its public lands, and the names of the surveyors are always 
found recorded on the first page of such history. Municipal 
history cannot ante-date settlement, and the surveyor is the 
forerunner of settlement. He goes into the unbroken wilder- 
ness and, on nature's great blackboard, delineates a group of 
townships, sub-dividing them into tiers, lots and road allow- 
ances, and in due time this group is organized into a county. 
Before the lands are surveyed they cannot be acquired 5 " or 
actual settlements made ; and all would-be settlers who " go in 
and occupy " before the surveyor has performed his duty, are 
mere squatters not settlers. Thus it is, that among the first 
names appearing in the history, proper, of our county, are 
those of Daniel Hazen, Thomas Welch, and others, who made 
the original survey of our lands. But this work is not a 
history of our county ; it is simply a series of sketches of our 
old pioneers and their pioneer experiences; and if Daniel 
Hazen had not permanently settled on a portion of the land 
he surveyed, his family would not be entitled to a place in the 

So far as information in possession of members of the 
family is concerned, nothing is known of Daniel Hazen's 
ancestors. He was a U. E. Loyalist, but nothing is known as to 
his career, or that of his father, during the war of the Revolution. 
It is supposed, however, that the family fled to St. John, N.B., 
from New Jersey, at the close of the war. The family name 


has been a familiar one in the vicinity of St. John all through 
the century, and it is supposed the Norfolk Hazens are a 
branch of the same family. Daniel Hazen came to Niagara 
before Canada West was organized into a province. He had 
received a fair education for the times, and was a surveyor by 
profession. In 1796 he and Mr. Hamlin were sent up to Long 
Point to survey Charlotte ville. This was the next year after 
Governor Simcoe visited Turkey Point. They surveyed the 
east line, ran up the lake and established the width of the 
township, and surveyed the line between Charlotteville and 
Walsingham. Hamlin commenced the Charlotteville survey, 
but was taken sick and was unable to complete the task. The 
survey was subsequently made by Thomas Welch. Mr. Hazen 
began his survey of Walsingham in 1796, and completed it in 
the winter of 1797-98. While engaged in the work he dis- 
covered a spring in the interior of the township, near 
the Venison Creek, and far removed from any squatter's 
cabin, which he greatly admired ; and after he completed his 
work he chose this spot for a home. Others followed, and in a 
few years a little settlement was effected, which has ever since 
been known as the " Hazen settlement." 

Mr. Hazen was a man of unassuming manners and of more 
than ordinary intelligence. He was held in high esteem by 
his fellow-pioneers, being generous, upright and honorable in 
business affairs, and most exemplary in Christian character. 
He and his wife were constituent members of the first 
Methodist society organized in the county. This pioneer 
organization came into being in the beginning of the century, 
and has been known ever since as the Woodhouse Meth- 
odist church. In the early pioneer days it is said that Daniel 
Hazen and his wife frequently walked from their home in 
Walsingham to this Woodhouse pioneer meeting-house. In 
fact, Mr. Hazen came quite regularly, and Mrs. Hazen 
accompanied him when the quarterly meetings were held, or 
about four times each year. It is seventeen miles " as the 
crow flies " from the Hazen home to the Woodhouse church; 


but if the footsteps of these old pioneers could be traced to-day,, 
it would be found that, owing to the windings and deviations 
which the primitive condition of the roads and lack of bridges 
at that time made necessary, the distance traversed was much 
greater. They took a luncheon with them, and long before 
the sun took his first peep at the new-born day, these founda- 
tion builders were well on their way. Only four times a year 
was this pioneer mother permitted to " go to meetin'," and yet 
for this small privilege she had to walk at least one hundred 
and fifty miles through stretches of unbroken forest, up and 
down steep hills, across numerous streams on the trunks of 
fallen trees and through miry swales ! What an example of 
Christian fortitude and patient perseverance in the very teeth 
of adverse circumstances circumstances, I fear, which Would 
put church-going altogether beyond the reach of the people 
of our day. 

In 1824 Daniel Hazen was nominated by his Walsingham 
friends for representative in the Provincial Parliament. His. 
fellow-nominees at this time were Francis L. Walsh, Duncan 
McCall, George Ryerson, John Killmaster and Walter NichoL 
In those days candidates for parliamentary honors had to pay 
all poll expenses. Returning officers and poll clerks received 
a guinea, and the constables a dollar each per day. Nomina- 
tions were made on Monday, and if more than the required 
number were nominated, a poll was opened at once, and 
remained open from day to day at the expense of the candi- 
dates receiving the least number of votes, until they were 
assured in their own minds that no chances for victory 
remained. Sometimes these pioneer elections continued all 
through the week, and when such an event occurred it was a 
jubilee week for the freehold electorate. Every freeholder 
was supposed to stand by his own colors, and any voter who 
so far forgot himself as to drink whisky from the barrel set 
up by a candidate he did not vote for, lost caste among his 
fellows, and was looked upon as a man of uncertain principles. 
In our times such a fellow would be dubbed a " sucker." The 


franchise was confined to freeholders, and a leasehold for 999 
years would be insufficient to entitle a man to a vote. 

In this election the contest was closed on the second day, 
Mr. Walsh and Mr. McCall being then declared elected. At 
that time Walsingham had about sixty-nine votes, w T hich were 
cast mostly for Mr. Hazen. This was the only time Mr. Hazen 
ever entered a contest for either parliamentary or municipal 

Daniel Hazen's family was pretty well grown-up when he 
settled in Walsingham. He had five sons William, Daniel, 
John, Caleb and Elijah. 

William Hazen, eldest son of Daniel, married Mary Ann, 
daughter of Caleb Hazen, of Woodhouse, and settled in Bay- 
ham. Elijah, a son of William, married Jane Matthews, and 
settled in Walsingham. 

Daniel Hazen, son of Daniel, married Ann Matthews, and 
settled in Oakland. He had three sons James, William and 
Daniel ; and four daughters Lavinia, Amy, Alice and 

John Hazen, third son of the original Daniel, married and 
settled in Bayham. He had no children. 

Caleb Hazen, and his brother Elijah, youngest sons of 
Daniel, settled in Walsingham. The latter married a daughter 
of Elder Neill, and settled on the old homestead. Elijah 
Hazen is remembered by the old people as a mail-carrier of 
" ye olden time." He carried His Majesty's mail on the back 
of a poor old horse from Port Rowan to Vittoria and return, 
once each week for several years. It was a big day's work, 
being about seven miles from his home in Walsingham to Port 
Rowan; and, during the first four years, His Majesty paid 
him the extravagant sum of seventy-five cents per week. 

Daniel Hazen had a brother, Caleb, who came to Long 
Point after the war of 1812, and settled in Woodhouse, near- 
Port Ryerse. He had four sons Wesley, William, Daniel and 
Freeman ; and three daughters Mary Ann, Eliza and Jane. 

Wesley Hazen, son of Caleb, married Tamson McNally, but 
had no family. 


William Hazen, the second son, married Cornelia Bost- 
wick, and settled near Port Dover. He had one son, Freeman. 

Daniel Hazen, third son of Caleb, married Sarah Gilbert, 
and settled in Woodhouse. He had two sons Wesley and 
Peter ; and two daughters Matilda and Margaret. 

Freeman Hazen, youngest son of Caleb, married Mary Ann 
Tinbrook, and lived at different places in the county. 

Mary Ann, Eliza and Jane, daughters of Caleb, married, 
respectively, William Hazen, John Matthews and George 
Matthews. The names of their children are given elsewhere. 



"DISTRICT THE General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, holden 

OF at the house of Job Loder, at the Town of Char- 

LONDON. lotteville, in and for the said District, on the 

fourteenth day of September in the forty-second 

year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George III. of Great 

Britain, France and Ireland, King and Defender of the Faith, 

and in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and 

two, before the Justices of the Lord, the King, assigned to 

keep the said District, and also to hear and determine divers 

felonies, trespasses and other misdemeanors in the said District 

committed, and of the Quorum." 

Thus wrote Thomas Welch, the old Clerk of the Peace, as he 
sat in the kitchen of Job Loder's tavern at Turkey Point, and 
put on record the proceedings of the first session of the court 
held at the Town of Charlotte ville. It was not the first time 
he had written this legal caption, however, as the Court of 
Sessions had been in existence more than two years previous 
to this, having been held at the house of James Monroe. 

If a full record of all the court proceedings at Turkey Point 
had been preserved it would afford the people of this day and 
generation an intensely interesting mass of reading matter. It 
would reveal the true character of the men who laid the 
foundation of our social and municipal institutions, and show 
us what manner of men our ancestors were. " Distance lends 
enchantment to the view," and now that we are removed a 
hundred years from the time our forefathers began to lay the 
foundation of Norfolk's civilization in the wilds of Upper 


Canada, we are quite apt to forget, while singing their praises, 
that they had the same " Old Adam " to contend with that we 
have in our day. It was a rough work they had to do, 
and none but rough-and-ready men were qualified to do it. 
There were a few delicately, refined individuals who came into 
the woods at an early date, but they either died with a broken 
heart or made a dismal failure of their undertaking. Our fore- 
fathers led sledge-hammer lives. They were of very necessity 
muscular, and they indulged freely in cheap whiskey. They 
were conscientious, but they were also rough and impulsive, 
and when they ran up against each other it was a word and a 
blow. They had no time or inclination for wordy disputations, 
and they had no respect for a coward or any man whose word 
was not as good as his bond. 

In our day suits at law are instituted mostly for the 
enforcing of property rights for values due, arising from 
broken promises and violated contracts. We rush into court 
with disputed accounts without the least compunction of 
conscience ; and we sue and permit ourselves to be sued for 
sums withheld and for damages arising from broken faith, and 
have come to look upon cupidity and double-dealing with 
indifference; but to be dragged before the bar of justice on a 
charge of assault and battery would be considered by us as 
very damaging to character. 

It was not so in our great-grandfathers' days. Their code 
of honor was quite different from ours. They branded the 
man who wilfully broke his word or violated his pledge for 
personal gain or through malice with the mark of Cain ; but 
the man who was convicted of the crime of assault and 
battery did not lose caste in the social circle provided he 
proved himself capable of taking care of himself and paid his 
fine like a man. 

Prominent among the "divers felonies, trespasses and other 
misdemeanors" which the old pioneer justices had "to hear and 
determine" was the grand jury "presentments" for assault and 
battery. To give the reader some idea of what happened in 


the Turkey Point courts at that early time, the remainder of 
this sketch will be given up to transcripts from the old record. 

March 13th, 1805, John McCall was brought into court 
by William Hutchinson, Esq., charged with " high crime and 
misdemeanors." The prisoner asked Hutchinson what he 
wanted with him, and Hutchinson replied: "To find bail for 
the Peace and good behavior, and for your appearance at the 
next Assizes." 

The prisoner asked : " Will you take land or horses or 
money or dogs for security ? I have two good dogs." 
Hutchinson replied : " No, none but personal security will do." 
Benijah Mai lory entered the court room at this juncture, and 
Hutchinson turned to him and threatened to send him to jail, 
and demanded bail for his good behaviour. Mr. Mallory 
refused to give it. He said he had done nothing and plead 
privilege as being a member of Parliament. Then McCall, 
the prisoner, spoke out and said : 

" Speak up, Captain Mallory, you are a gentleman. You 
are the only gentleman in the house." 

To this Hutchinson replied : " If you open your mouth 
again I will order you to be put in the stocks." 

McCall then gaped his mouth wide open and said, " I shall 
want some more whiskey." Hutchinson then ordered the 
prisoner to be put in the stocks. 

Alexander Hutchinson was on duty as Under Sheriff, and 
he took the prisoner out of the court-room ; and when they 
passed outside a number of McCall's friends rescued him. The 
under Sheriff afterwards swore that the men who rescued the 
prisoner were Philip Fonger, Joseph Millar, Peter Coombs, 
Robert Monroe and others. These parties were forthwith 
arrainged for " aiding and abetting in the rescue of John 
McCall." They entered into recognizances for their proper 
appearance as follows : 

"Philip Fonger, Constable of Charlotteville, 100, with 
Silas Secord and John Misner as sureties for 50 each." 

"Joseph Millar, miller, of Charlotteville, 100, with Silas 
Montross and Silas Secord as sureties for 50 each." 


" Robert Monroe, farmer, of Charlotteville, 100, with Silas 
Montross and Joseph Spetler as sureties for 50 each. 

" Peter Coombs, 100, with John Heath and Joseph - as 
sureties for 50 each. 

" Henry Bostwick, 100, with Lot Tisdale and John Benson 
as sureties for 50 each." 

Some time before this rescue of John McCall, Benijah 
Mallory, the representative in Parliament for London District, 
had been charged with making a wrong statement as to the 
number of fire-places in his house, for the purpose of avoiding 
taxation. But he proved to the satisfaction of His Majesty's 
justices, who sat on the judicial bench in the Temple of Justice 
at Turkey Point, that the two fireplaces complained of were 
in a camp, and not in his dwelling-house, and he was acquitted. 
This happened just before the McCall rescue, and a pugilistic 
feeling seems to have permeated the entire settlement. At the 
next term of Court we find the following indictments on record : 

" William Hutchinson, for Assault & Battery on Robert 
Monroe and Benijah Mallory." 

" John McCall, for Assault & Battery on William Hutchin- 

" Samuel Ryerse, Thomas Horner and Joseph Ryerson, for 
an attempt to subordinate Benijah Mallory." 

" Joseph Ryerson, for grievous threatening against the life 
of Benijah Mallory." 

On the same page of the old journal we find this entry : 
" It is ordered that an house having two fireplaces be added to 
the assessment rate of Samuel Martin, and that two additional 
fireplaces be deducted from that of Benijah Mallory for the 
present year." 

Peter Coombs, one of the rescuers of John McCall, was 
indicted for petit larceny at the December term of that year. 
He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and asked to be tried 
" by God and his country." The trial jury was made up as fol- 
lows : " Abraham Beemer, foreman ; Gabriel Culver, Isaac Petitt, 
William Walker, Francis Glover, William McCool, Champion 
Scovel, John Muckle, jun., John Dudbridge and Isaac Fairchild." 


The following were the witnesses for the king : " Daniel 
McCall, jun., Edmond Frost, John Smith, Simon Mabee and 
Ethan Woodruff." The witnesses for defendant were " William 
Spurgin and Robert Shearer." 

The jury brought in a verdict of " Guilty," and the sentence 
of the Court was : " That he shall receive twenty lashes upon 
his bare back, well laid on " 

The Sheriff was ordered by the Court to see that the sent- 
ence was put into immediate execution. This is the only case 
of public whipping on record for the first ten years of the 
history of the Court of Sessions. 

During the spring term of 1803, two of the most prominent 
Justices of the Peace in London District, were indicted for 
drunkenness, and another one for profanity. 

At the June term of this same year, the following quaint 
and amusing entry was made : u Francis L. Walsh, small Gent., 
of this District, is convicted of profane swearing of two oaths 
before Peter Teeple, Esquire, his fine set at Two shillings, which 
he paid into the hands of the Sheriff." . 

During the fall term of 1804, Alexander McQueen was 
brought into Court and fined one shilling for swearing. Oliver 
Thornton was also fined one shilling, at the same session, for a 
like offence. 

During the December term of Court, 1804, Peter Teeple, 
Esquire, and his wife, Lydia, were indicted by the Grand Jury 
for assault and battery. They pleaded " Not guilty," and chose 
to be tried "by God and their country." Mary Cope was 
prosecutor. The trial jury was composed of the following per- 
sons : " Daniel McCall, jun., foreman ; Amos Manuel, Joseph 
Chambers, Samuel Smith, John Barber, Gabriel Culver, 
Benjamin Culver, Griffith Culver, Jabez Culver, jun., Nesbett 
Culver, Robert Davis and Robert Henderson." Constable 
Philip Fonger had charge of the jury, and their verdict was 
" Not guilty." 

The Courts at Turkey Point were not always pressed with 
business. The following is a true copy of one day's work dur- 
ing the September term of 1806 : 


" The Court opened according to adjournment. The Court 
adjourned for five minutes. The Court opened according to 
adjournment. Thomas Horner, Esquire, resumes the chair as 
Chairman. The Gentlemen of the Court order that William 
Dill, of the township of Charlotteville, is not to be taxed for a 
house which he is now taxed for. (The Court adjourned) 

It would seem that John Kern, Aaron Sprague and Elijah 
Millard had indulged in a little forbidden diversion, for the 
record shows they were all fined three shillings and fourpence 
for " Sabbath breaking." The following is given as a sample 
of trial record, as taken from Thomas Walsh's old journal : 

"THE KING ~\ For feloniously taking a bar of iron 
vs. I from Sykes Towsley, of Oxford, on or about 

MORDECAI SAYLEsJthe 20th Oct., 1800. 

" The Prisoner being arraigned at the bar plead 'Not Guilty,' 
and for his trial puts himself on ' God and his country.' 

" Jurors sworn Joseph Beemer, Barzillai Beal, John Barber, 
Abraham Beemer, Gabriel Culver, Benjamin Culver, John 
Dudbridge, John Heath, Joseph Lane, Amos Manuel, Matthias 
Messacar, and Isaac Petitt. 

" The Indictment read and the Jury called to hear the 

"Sykes Towsley called and sworn to give evidence to the 

" Elisha Haskins, sen , sworn to give evidence to the Jury. 

"John Ten Broeck, Esq., Attorney for Defendant 

"The Jury retire, with Jacob Wood and Thomas Fuller, 
constables, in attendance. 

" The Jury return and bring in a verdict of ' Not Guilty.' 

"The Prisoner at the bar is dismissed by the Court. 

" The Petitt Jury are dismissed." 

During the June term, 1807, James Barnes was brought into 
Court, and fined one shilling for swearing one oath. It seems 
that the price fixed by the Court for this little indulgence of 
giving vent to the pent up wrath that occasionally troubled our 
brave old pioneer forefathers, was one shilling for each oath. 

The last entry in the old journal referred to, was placed 
there September 12th, 1809, and reads as follows : 


" Abner Owen, charged with Assault & Battery, and a 
Bench Warrant issued for him." 

It was at " Fort Monroe " and Turkey Point where the first 
tavern-keepers in all London District obtained their licenses. 
These pioneer taverns were crude establishments. Any settler 
having a log house large enough to partition off a bar in one 
end, a loft overhead not fully occupied by the members of the 
family, possessed the* necessary accommodations for a first-class 

The first license granted was to James Monroe, who owned 
the only two-story frame house in all London District at that 
time. The date of this license was April 8th, 1800, and during 
this same first term of the old Quarter Sessions a license was 
granted to Hammond Lawrence, of Oxford. October 18th, 
1800, Moses Rice, of Charlotte ville, obtained a license ; and on 
December 8th, 1801, Noah Millard, of Townsend, was granted 
a license to keep a tavern. Job Loder obtained his license for 
keeping a tavern at Turkey Point, March 20th, 1802 ; and a 
license was granted to Cornwall Ellis, of Walsingham where 
Port Rowan now is on December 13th, 1803, for keeping a 
public-house. On June 9th, 1807, Philip Sovereign was 
granted a license, as shown by the following entry of that date : 

" Philip Sovereign, 10 ; Henry Bostwick, 5 ; Alexander 
Hutchinson, 5 Conditioned that the said Philip Sovereign 
does keep a good orderly house and allow no gaming or rioting 
to go on there ; this obligation to be null and void, or otherwise 
to remain in full force and virtue." 

It was customary in the early Courts for the wives of 
grantors of real estate to go into Court and make free and 
voluntary declaration of relinquishment of Dower rights. 
The following examples are taken from the old Court journal : 

" January 13th, 1801. Hepsebah Cooley appeared in Court, 
and relinquished her right of Dower to land of John Davis, 
being Lot 2, 14th concession, Windham." 

"April 14th, 1801, Amy, wife of Philip Forse, relinquished 
her right of Dower in Lot 7, 7th concession, Willow by, County 


of Lincoln, District of Niagara, according to law, to Elijah 
Vincent, grantee of Philip Forse." 

" September 8th, 1801, Deborah Glover relinquished her 
right of Dower in land in the Township of Townsend, sold by 
her husband to Leonard Clouse." 

"December 8th, 1801, Elizabeth, wife of Paul Avery, appeared 
in Court and acknowledged that she freely and voluntarily 
relinquished her right of Dower to a certain piece of land sold 
by her husband to Job Slaght, being Lot 9, 8th concession, 

" March 9th, 1802, Susan, wife of Albert Eerdan, came into- 
Court and relinquished her right of Dower in Lot 7, 1st con- 
cession, Woodhouse, sold by her husband to Jonathan Williams." 

"June 8th, 1802, Mary, wife of Thomas Welch, appears in 
Court and freely and voluntarily relinquishes all her right of 
Dower in and to Four Hundred acres of land lying in the 
Township of Humberstone, this day conveyed by the said 
Thomas Welch and his wife, Mary, to Peter Hershey." 

" Mary, wife of Oliver Mabee, relinquished her right of 
Dower in Lot 21, 4th concession, Charlotte ville, conveyed to- 
James Russell." 

The above relinquishments were made at "Fort Monroe."' 
Those given below were made after the court was established 
at the Town of Charlotteville, or Turkey Point. The regular 
formula is as given in the above-mentioned case of Mary 

" March 8th, 1803, Mary, wife of David Secord, relinquished 
her Dower right in Lot 19, 1st concession of Charlotteville." 

"December 13th, 1803, Margery, wife of Daniel Millard 
released her Dower right in Lots 13 and 14, 4th concession,. 

" Ann, wife of John Stone, relinquished her Dower right in 
part of Lot 18, 1st concession, Charlotteville, conveyed to 
Ephraim Tisdale." 

" March 14th, 1804, Lydia, wife of Peter Teeple, relinquished 
her Dower right in 106| acres, being part of Lot 9, lake front, 
Charlotteville, conveyed to John Kern." 

" Sarah, wife of Samuel Ryerse, relinquished her Dower 
right in Lots 23 and 24, 2nd concession, Charlotteville, con- 
veyed to Joseph Ryerson." 

" Sarah, wife of Captain Richard Vanderberg, relinquished 


her Dower right in part of Lot 8, 1st concession, Woodhouse, 
conveyed to Abraham A. Rapelje." 

" Christiana, wife of James Russell, relinquished her Dower 
right in Lot 19, 2nd concession, Walsingham, conveyed to 
William Smith. 

"September llth, 1804, Mary, wife of David Secord, relin- 
quished her Dower right in 200 acres of land, conveyed to 
William Culver." 

"Catherine, wife of William Culver, relinquished her Dower 
right in Lot 8, 1st concession, Charlotte ville, conveyed to David 
Secord, jun." 

" Submit, wife of Ephraim Tisdale, relinquished her Dower 
right in 25 acres, being part of Lot 8, 1st concession, Charlotte- 
ville, conveyed to Lot and Joseph Tisdale." 

" December llth, 1804, Abigail, wife of Simon Mabee, relin- 
quished her Dower right in 100 acres, being part of Lot 24, 2nd 
concession, Walsingham, conveyed to Levi Montross." 

"January 26th, 1805, Parnel, wife of Benjamin Mead, relin- 
quished her Dower right in Lot 15, 1st concession, Woodhouse. 

" June 13th, 1805, Fanny, wife of Thomas Price, relinquished 
her Dower right in Lot 11, 4th concession, Charlotteville, con- 
veyed to Titus Finch." 

" Elizabeth, wife of Aaron Culver, relinquished her Dower 
right in 12 acres, being part of Lot 1, 6th concession, Wood- 
house, conveyed to John Davis." 

" Martha, wife of Gabriel Culver, relinquished her Dower 
right in 120 acres, being part of Lot 5, llth concession, Towns- 
end, conveyed to Dennis Shoft." 

" Janet, wife of Andrew Steinhoff, relinquished her Dower 
right in Lot 24, llth concession, Windham, conveyed to Jacob 

"December 9th, 1806, Phoebe, wife of John Sovereign, relin- 
quished her Dower right in 165 acres, being part of Lots 22 
and 23, Gore of Woodhouse, conveyed to William Culver." 

" March 6th, 1806, Abigail, wife of John Gustin, relinquished 
her Dower right in 50 acres, being north part of Lot 20, 3rd 
concession, Charlotteville, conveyed to Simon Mabee." 

"December 8th, 1807, Maria, wife of Jonathan Williams, 
relinquished her Dower right in Lot 8, 1st concession, Wood- 
house, conveyed to Nathan Mann." 

" Mary, wife of Henry Walker, relinquished her Dower 
right in Lot 20, 1st concession, Woodhouse, conveyed to William 


"September 13th, 1808, Sarah, wife of Platt Wood, relin- 
quished her Dower right in 100 acres, being part of Lot 12, 4th 
concession, Woodhouse." 

The following peculiar description of property is found in 
the court record bearing date March 8th, 1808 : 

" Maria, wife of Matthias Steel, relinquished her Dower 
right on property conveyed to Abner Owen, described as ' the 
easternmost part of Sovereign mill, in Townsend.' " 

In the early days of the sessions one Ebenezer Allen, of 
the town of Delaware, was the prolific source of a good share 
of the business done by the court. He was one of several 
incorrigible citizens that formed a part of the new settlement 
at the town of Delaware at this time. He brought more than 
one of his neighbours to Long Point for assault and battery 
and other misdemeanors, and finally he was caught in the 
meshes of the law himself on a charge of forgery. He was 
tried, convicted and imprisoned in the jail at Turkey Point. 
He found it pretty cold there in the winter time without a fire, 
and on December llth, 1805, we find the following entry in the 
journal : 

" Ebenezer Allen, a prisoner in the district jail, prayed the 
court to allow him the use of fire. Ordered that he be allowed 
the use of fire, provided he secure the sheriff' to his satisfaction, 
and if the sheriff is willing to comply with the conditional order 
and not otherwise." 

One Andrew Westbrook and this Ebenezer Allen, each 
claimed a certain axe which was in possession of the court, and 
the court ordered that the axe " be left with Job Loder, the 
jailer till next jail delivery." 

In concluding this sketch, it affords the writer much pleas- 
ure to state that the time-stained pages of the old record shows 
not a single case of theft, petit larceny, forgery or perjury on 
the part of the grandancestors of our old Norfolk families. 
All persons charged with such criminal offences, were either 
settlers living beyond the confines of Long Point settlement, 
or mere " floaters," who were here to-day and somewhere else 



ONE of the oldest and best known families of Norfolk is- 
the Anderson family, of Vittoria. Captain Walter Anderson 
was one of the mudsills in our social foundation, and 110 name 
figures more prominently in the annuls of old Charlotteville 
during the first half of the century than that of Anderson. 

Walter Anderson was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. He 
was born in 1753, and came to America and settled in the 
colony of New Jersey just before the colonies threw off their 
allegiance to the English king. He remained loyal during the 
trouble of the Revolution, but what particular part he played 
in the drama does not appear. At the close of the war a party 
of Loyalists took refuge in a New Jersey fort to escape the 
abuse that was heaped upon them by their victorious fellow- 
colonists, and Mr. Anderson was one of them. Being sorely 
pressed in their place of retreat, Mr. Anderson and a comrade 
managed to escape in the night, and wend their way into 
Pennsylvania. They were destitute of means, but had good 
constitutions, and were richly endowed with that native pluck 
which so signally distinguishes the sons of " Auld Scotia," 
making them equal to any emergency in every civilized 
portion of the globe. Mr. Anderson was a strict Presbyterian, 
and a ready talker withal, and he proposed to his fellow 
refugee that they travel as missionaries he as a preacher, and 
his friend as an elder. The scheme was adopted and proved 
highly successful. At one place in a back township they 
remained a whole week, holding meetings in a school-house 
and receiving material aid. Who but a Scotchman would have 


thought of this ? They were thus enabled to avoid suspicion 
as to their being Loyalist refugees, and were housed and feted 
while making their way out of the country. They came to 
Upper Canada, and, after sending for his family, Mr. Anderson 
settled in the Niagara District on land which he drew as a 
U. E. Loyalist. 

In 1799 he came up to Long Point settlement with his 
family. His daughter, Rebecca, possessed a U. E. Loyalist right 
in her own name, and this she transferred to John McCall in 
consideration of his relinquishment of Lot 20, 4th concession 
of Charlotteville. The old Government deed for this Lot and 
Lot 12, in the 5th concession, has been preserved. It bears 
date May 17th, 1802, and is signed by Peter Hunter, Esq., 
" our Lieutenant-Governor of our said Province, and Lieutenant- 
General commanding our forces in our said Province of Upper 
Canada." Mr. Anderson was a stonemason by trade, and he 
was attracted to this lot by the plentiful supply of stone it 

During the first session of the first term of the Court of 
Quarter Sessions, held at the house of James Monroe, on the 
8th day of April, 1800, Walter Anderson petitioned for a 
reduction of his statute labor, and the Court granted the 
petition, fixing his labor for that year at four days. He was a 
member of the grand jury at this term of Court, it being the 
first grand jury in the Court history of old London District. 

As before stated, Captain Anderson was a staunch Presby- 
terian. He was very strict in his home government and very 
positive in his religious opinions. He donated two acres in the 
village of Vittoria for Presbyterian church purposes, but he 
did not live to see a church edifice erected thereon. This 
stalwart old pioneer died in 1818 from injuries received in 
falling from a roof while engaged in building a chimney, being 
in his 66th year. Mary, his wife, died in 1814, in her 57th. 

Captain Walter Anderson had a brother, who settled in 
New York. William Anderson, a son of this brother, was a 


shoe merchant in New York city, but nothing more is known 
of this branch of the family. 

A number of Captain Anderson's children died in early 
childhood. Those who grew up were five sons Walter, John, 
Joseph, James and Henry ; and two daughters Rebecca and 

Col. Walter Anderson, eldest son of Walter, was one of the 
solid men of old Charlottevillc in his day and generation. He 
was ever at the front in all matters pertaining to public 
affairs. He was straightforward, out-spoken and very positive 
in his manners, and was looked up to as a leading citizen. 
When the venerable Simpson McCall first began to show signs 
of budding into a political stump speaker, he made a speech 
at a town meeting at least it was what Mr. McCall at that 
time thought was a speech. It happened a good many years 
ago, and Mr. McCall is not quite so positive now that it was 
really a speech, as he was the next morning after it was 
delivered. Well, on the following day he met Mr. Anderson 
on the hill above the village, and that dignitary accosted him 
with : 

" Hello, you little rooster, when are you going to crow 
again ? '*' 

" Oh, I don't know," replied the rooster," " I 'spose at the 
next town meetin'." 

Col. Walter Anderson was a leading factor in the old Town 
Boards, filling various positions during the early stages of the 
development of our municipal system ; and when the Talbot 
District Council was organized in 1842, he became one of the 
first members. During the rebellion he served as captain of a 
company of militia, and, subsequently, was appointed lieuten- 
ant-colonel in the Norfolk militia, succeeding Colonel Rapelje. 
Lot 21, adjoining the old homestead on the east, was a clergy 
reserve, and this lot was leased by Mr. Anderson. He was a 
man of robust constitution, and kept up his horseback riding 
after he passed his 80th year. He died in 1869, having reached 
his 85th year. Colonel Anderson married Sarah McQueen, of 


Port Dover, who survived him ten years, having reached the 
ripe old age of ninety years. They left nine sons and daugh- 
ters MARY ANN, who married Jacob Wood; AMELIA, who 
married James Stone, of Normandale; REBECCA ANN, who 
married Hanford Oaks ; JAMES, who settled in Walsingham ; 
JOHN, who settled on the homestead ; WALTER, who enlisted in 
the American civil war, taken prisoner at Vicksburg, and never 
heard of after; HENKY, who settled in the States; ELIZA, who 
married Dr. Dimon, of Port Rowan ; and SARAH, who became 
the second wife of Dr. Dimon. 

Joseph Anderson, second son of the original W T alter, was a 
" church warden " in the days when township affairs were 
managed by the old ' Town Commissioner " system. He 
married Sarah Spurgin, and settled near Norrnandale. He 
had two sons William and Walter ; and five daughters 
Nancy, Elizabeth, Amert K., Sarah and Mary Ann. Of this 
family WILLIAM married Julia Brown, and settled near Port 
Rowan ; WALTER married Mary Jane Thompson, and settled at 
Normandale; NANCY married Hugh Mabee, and settled at 
Port Rowan ; ELIZABETH married Isaac Franklin, and settled 
near Port Rowan; AMERT K. married Oliver McCall, and 
settled finally at Port Rowan ; SARAH JANE married Dr. 
Byron Franklin, of Port Rowan ; and MARY ANN married John 
Fick, and settled in Walsingham. 

James Anderson, third son of the original Walter, died in 
1808, at the age of seventeen. 

John Anderson, fourth son of the original Walter, never 
married. He lived a bachelor's life, and was credited with 
being an aider and abettor in a good many " larks " that broke 
the monotony of pioneer life in his day. He and his brother 
Henry built and operated the Anderson distilleries. The first 
was built on the lake shore above Normandale, and the second 
on the old homestead at Vittoria. John Anderson died in 

Henry Anderson, fifth and youngest son of the original 
Walter, was a baby in the arms of his mother when the family 


came to Long Point. He was born into the world in time to 
secure a vested right to land as a son of a U. E. Loyalist, and 
when he grew up he drew a lot near Lynedoch. Henry 
also served as a District Councillor. He was a hard worker 
and a man of business. He built a grist-mill east of Vittoria, 
and he and his brother John operated a large distillery busi- 
ness. He died in 1873, in his 76th year, from injuries received 
in a road accident while returning from Port Rowan, having 
gone to that village on a matter of business. He, like John, 
never married, the two brothers having lived at the old home- 
stead with their sister Rebecca. 

Rebecca Anderson, eldest daughter of the original Walter, 
came into possession of the old homestead by virtue of her 
father's will. She never married. She was born in Niagara 
District in 1788, and was eleven years old when the family 
came to Long Point. As before stated, it was through her 
U. E. Loyalist right that her father was enabled to secure a 
patent for the old homestead. She was thirty-one years old 
when she came into possession of the old home. She was her 
father's favorite heir, and he w T illed the bulk of his property 
to her. But " Aunt Becky," as she was familiarly called, did 
not fully avail herself of the advantage given her by her 
father's will. She was generous and open-hearted, and the old 
homestead was ever a welcome home for her bachelor brothers, 
and her purse strings always hung loose when the cry of want 
was heard. She possessed an individuality peculiarly her own, 
and, probably, no woman of her time in the county possessed 
more striking characteristics than she. A good share of the 
village of Vittoria was built on her land, and this called for a 
considerable amount of business tact on her part, and brought 
her frequently before the public. In these matters she proved 
equal to every occasion, showing much business ability and 
executive force. She granted the school section in which she 
lived, a leasehold of a lot of land, to be held by the lessees in 
perpetuity for school purposes, in consideration of " one barley 
corn per year." Of course, if the land be put to any other 


use it will revert to her heirs. " Old Aunt Becky " died in 
1863, in her 76th year. 

Elizabeth Anderson, youngest daughter of the original 
Walter, married John Graves Secord, son of Captain David 
Secord, the old U. E. Loyalist, who settled in an early day on 
Catfish Creek. John Graves drew land in the township of 
Lobo, and upon this land he and his young wife settled. Sub- 
sequently they came to live on the old Anderson homestead, 
but Mr. Secord finally went away. The issue of this marriage 
was two daughters Mary Ann and Rebecca. The former 
became the wife of Henry Lamport; Esq., the old Vittoria 
merchant, now of Toronto ; and the latter married David P. 
Clark. Mrs. Clark is the present owner of the fine old Ander- 
son homestead, which has been in possession of the family for 
ninety-five years. Mrs. Lamport died in 1865, in her 38th 



PREVIOUS to the break- 
ing out of the war of the 
Revolution the settlements 
in the Mohawk Valley, in 
New York, were dotted 
with peaceful and happy 
homes. Primitive condi- 
tions of pioneer life had 
given place to substantial 
rural comforts. The log: 


cabin had been superseded 
by the commodious frame 
dwelling-house, and the 
pole hovel no longer served 
as a substitute for the barn. 
The husbandman tilled his 
fertile fields in peace, and 
his little children romped and played without fear of molesta- 
tion from any source. But when cruel war swept over the 
land, paralyzing colonial industry and devastating the homes 
of the people, a cry of lamentation was heard in the beauti- 
ful little valley. A pack of inhuman monsters, bearing the 
outward forms of men, but inoculated inwardly with the 
virus of devils, passed through the valley, wrecking their 
vengeance on defenceless women and innocent children. These 
devils incarnate have long since entered the silent chambers 
of death to await the terrible doom held in reserve for them. 



In that great day when man shall receive, according to the 
deeds done in this . life, there may be some mitigation for 
the wild red man of the forest ; but his white brother who 
spurred him on to hellish deeds, and not only joined him in the 
committal of them, but actually took the lead in some cases, 
setting such examples of heart-sickening butchery as to even 
disgust the heathen savage surely, for such a man there can 
be no escape from the lowest and hottest region of Hades. 

The home of the subject of this sketch was in this peaceful 
Mohawk valley, in the little town of Minden, Montgomery 
County. The protracted struggle for independence had drawn 
pretty much every able-bodied man away from his home, leaving 
the women and children and the aged and disabled to carry on 
the work of the farms and take care of the homes. When the 
terrible things related in this sketch happened in Mary's home 
she was only seven years old. She had five or six brothers and 
sisters, some older and some younger, than herself. Besides the 
children there were Mary's mother, an aunt, and an infirm 
grandfather in the family. It was harvest time, and Mrs. Sitts 
and her sister were in the harvest field at work, and the 
children and their old grandfather were in the house. 

This was the condition of things when the savages fell upon 
the home. They were armed with bayonets and tomahawks, 
and it was their hellish- custom to torture little children to 
death by impaling them on their bayonets. 

Little Mary escaped from the house with the baby and ran 
to the field, where she hid in a shock of wheat. The women 
had heard the fiendish yells of the savages and ran into the 
woods. Mary's escape was noticed, however, and when the 
butchery was completed at the house, the fiends proceeded to 
search for her. Poor Mary was unable to still the cries of the 
babe and this led to her discovery. The babe was torn from 
Mary's embrace and slaughtered in her presence, but she was 
spared. Just why she was spared, God only knows ; it may 
have been her personal appearance, as she was unusually bright 
and pretty. She and her grandfather were taken into captivity 



and led away into the forests, but at the end of the fourth 
day's march the old man became completely exhausted, and 
being unable to proceed farther, he was slaughtered by the 
savages, and his body left lying in the woods to be devoured by 
wild beasts. Mary was taken into the wilds of Western 
Canada, where she lived with the Indians in the Grand River 
Valley for eight years. When fifteen years old she was 
redeemed with a valuable consideration by Major Nelles. This 
occurred in the year 1787, and there is every reason to believe 
that Mary Sitts Nelles was 
the only white woman liv- 
ing in the province at this 
time between the Niagara 
and Detroit river settle- 

When Governor Simcoe 
made his overland journey 
from Newark to Detroit 
in the month of February, 
1793, the party, which con- 
sisted of the Governor, Cap- 
tain Fitzgerald, Lieutenant 
Smith, Colonel Talbot, 
Lieutenant Gray, Lieut- 
enant Givens, and Major 
Littlehales, crossed the 
Grand River where Major Nelles lived. The place was known 
as " Nelles' house," and was one of the principal points on the 
main forest trail between the Niagara and I )etroit Rivers. 

In 1796 our heroine married George Cunningham, a Scotch- 
American, and settled on the Grand River, on the spot where 
Little York is now situated. Early in the century they came 
into Norfolk, and settled in Boston, being among the first 
settlers in that old settlement. They moved up in the latter 
part of summer, with all their personal belongings loaded on a 
sled, which was drawn by a yoke of oxen. She had four 



children at this time, the youngest of whom, George Cunning- 
ham, she carried on her back as she trudged on foot behind 
the sled-load of household effects. The lot known as the 
Johnson homestead, at Boston, was purchased by Mr. Cunning- 
ham, and here they settled. While engaged at a raising at the 
home of one of the Corlisses, Mr. Cunningham met with an 
accident which terminated his life. Subsequently Mrs. 
Cunningham married John Johnson, an Englishman, who came 
to the settlement a short time previous to Mr. Cunningham's 

Mr. Johnson was a man of admirable character. He was 
kind, affectionate, noble and generous ; and no one among the 
old pioneers applied the golden rule in the daily affairs of life 
more closely than he did. He was a father and true counsellor 
to his wife's fatherless children, purchasing lands for them 
when they grew up, and manifesting at all times, as much 
interest in their well-being as he would if they had been his 
own children. In consideration of his kindness and help, they 
signed over to him their rights in the old homestead as the 
heirs of George Cunningham. 

Mr. Johnson, who was fourteen years his wife's senior in 
age, died in 1832, in his 75th year. Our heroine died in 1859, 
having reached her 88th year. 

Mrs. Nelles Cunningham Johnson nee Mary Sitts, was 
born May 18th, 1772, in the Mohawk Valley home. Her 
father's name was Baldwin Sitts, and her mother's maiden 
name was Nancy House. She was the mother of seven 
children Abraham and Nancy Nelles ; William, George, Henry 
and Andrew Cunningham, and Joseph Johnson. 

Captain Abraham Nelles, only son of Major Nelles, married 
Mrs. Uriah Adams nee Roily Fairchild, and settled in Townsend. 
He had three sons Simon Peter, Joseph and Warner ; and one 
daughter, Nancy Candes. 

Simon P. Nelles, eldest son of Abraham, married 

Anderson, settled in Townsend, and had two sons Alexander 
and Arthur, and one daughter, Eliza Jane. 



Joseph Nelles, second son of Abraham, married the eldest 
daughter of Dr. David Duncombe, and had one son, David 
Abraham ; and one daughter, Rhoda Mary. 

Warner Nelles, third son of Abraham, married a daughter 
of Richard McMichael, of Townsend, settled in Townsend, and 
had one son, Richard ; and two daughters Helena and Mary. 
Captain Abraham Nelles died in 1879, aged eighty-four years. 

Nancy Candes Nelles, only daughter of Abraham, married 
Dr. David Duncombe and settled in Townsend. She had four 
sons Abraham N., Or- 
lando H., Truman W., and 
Charles E.; and one or two 

Nancy Nelles, only 
daughter of Major Nelles^ 
married Moses Barber, and 
settled near Boston. The 
genealogy of her children 
and grandchildren is given 
elsewhere in connection 
with the Barber family. 

William Cunningham, 
eldest son of the original 
George, married Sarah 
Slaght, settled in Boston ? 
and had two daughters 
Rachel and Elizabeth; and one son, George. He subse- 
quently married Martha Kern, by whom he had two sons 
William and Samuel ; and one daughter, Sarah, the wife of 
B. L. Chipman. He died in 1840 in his 44th year. 

George Cunningham, second son of George, married Mary 
Slaght, settled in Oakland, and had five sons William, George, 
Andrew, Jacob and Joseph ; and a number of daughters. 

Henry Cunningham, third son of George, married Mary 
Slaght, settled in Boston, and had three sons Peter, Abram 
and Moses ; and three daughters Nancy, Elizabeth and Eliza. 



Andrew Cunningham, youngest son of the original George, 
died before reaching manhood. 

Joseph Johnson, only son of John Johnson, married Hannah, 
daughter of Abraham Smith, of Charlotteville, and succeeded 
to the old homestead. Mr. Johnson died since this sketch was 
first written, having reached his 88th year; and the young 
bride, who came to his Boston home nearly seventy years 
before, followed him a few months later, having reached her 
88th year. "Uncle Joseph" and "Aunt Hannah" Johnson 

will ever be remembered 
for their generous hospi- 
tality and sterling upright- 
ness of character, and their 
names will always occupy 
a prominent place among 
the old settlers of Towns- 
end.. They had four sons 
Abram, John, Henry and 
Joseph; and three daugh- 
ters .Mary Jane, Sarah 
Ann and Abigail. ABRAM 
married Mary Woodley ; 
JOHN married Mary Mc- 
Gregor ; HENRY married 
Hannah Phelps; and 

" UNCLE " JOSEPH JOHNSON. . , T . . ^ 

JOSEPH married Lizzie B. 

Mabee. All settled in Townsend Joseph succeeding to the 
old homestead. MARY JANE married Israel Woodley and 
settled in Townsend; SARAH ANN married William Black, and 
settled at Boston : and ABIGAIL married Elias Barber, and 
settled at Boston also. Henry and Joseph are the sole sur- 

Thus, we have the story of Mary Sitts. As before stated, 
no one knows why the savages spared the life of this little 
Dutch girl after cruelly slaughtering her brothers and sisters. 
But when we consider the number and individual character of 


her descendants, and the part they have played in the develop- 
ment of Norfolk, may we not wisely conclude that He who 
rules over our destinies stayed the uplifted savage arm when 
little Mary was taken from that shock of wheat, 'for wise 
purposes known only to Himself ? 

During her captivity an attempt was made to scalp her, but 
a timely intercession on the part of a dusky friend, prevented 
the final consummation of the act. She received a scalp 
wound, however, which necessitated the wearing of a small silver 
plate adjusted to the scalp, as a protection to her brain. She 
had an elder brother, Jacob Sitts, who was not at home at the 
time of the massacre. This brother grew up, married, and 
settled in the valley, where his descendants became quite 

The Nelles family is of German extraction. In the early 
part of last century Heinrich Nelles settled in New York. 
About the time Mary Sitts was born Henry William Nelles, 
son of Heinrich migrated with his family into the wilds of 
Western Canada, to avoid the trouble that was brewing between 
the colonies and the Mother Country. In the party were the six 
sons of Mr. Nelles Robert, William, John, Warner, Abraham 
and Peter and five slaves. They came up the Mohawk River 
in canoes, thence over a portage into Wood Creek, and again 
into the Onieda. Finally they crossed the Niagara River and 
took up their abode in the wilderness, where the old village of 
Grimsby was afterwards founded. 

It is said that after the war of the Revolution the American 
Government offered to restore their lands if they would return 
to New York, and that Peter was the only one who returned. 
It is also said that the old Palatine church, which is still 
standing in the Mohawk River Valley, was built on land 
donated by Heinrich Nelles. Major Nelles, of " Nelles House " 
on the Grand River, was the second son of Henry William 

It is claimed that the Buncombe family of Norfolk are the 
descendants of Sir Charles Duncombe, who came from England 


to America in 1730, and settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
Sir Charles had a son, Charles, who was born in 1741, and this- 
Charles had a son, Thomas, who was born in 1769, and who is 
the Canadian grandancestor of the family. 

Thomas Duncombe had two sons Dr. Charles and Dr. 
David, who came to Canada a year or two in advance of their 
father, and settled in Westminster, near the spot where the 
city of London now stands. In 1823 the father died, and in the 
following year Dr. David, who had studied medicine with his 
brother, attended lectures at Fairfield College, N.Y., there being 
no medical schools in Canada at that time. In 1826 he settled 
in Townsend where he lived until death released him from his 
labors. He was born in 1802, and died in his 87th year. He 
was twice married. By his first wife, Mary Chapin, he had 
seven children, making thirteen in the family. Dr. Duncombe 
practised medicine for more than half a century, and during 
this time he was one of Norfolk's best known citizens. He 
was a sagacious politician, a skilful physician, and a shrewd,, 
successful man of business. The name of Dr. David Duncombe 
will always occupy a prominent place in the history of Norfolk 



THE father of the Montross family was a U. E. Loyalist 
during the war of the Revolution, but he did not live to join 
his fellow-Loyalists in the work of home-building in Upper 
Canada. He did live, however, to suffer bitter persecution for 
his loyalty to the British Crown in those sorrowful days. His 
family fled into New Brunswick, where they settled on land set 
apart for expatriated Loyalists, who had suffered and lost every- 
thing in the great struggle with their fellow colonists for the 
supremacy of British rule. 

Just before the century drew its last expiring breath, the 
children of this brave old defender of the flag having heard so 
many wonderful stories of the new Long Point settlement in 
Upper Canada of its fine climate and its fertile lands which 
were being gratuitously granted to U. E. Loyalists and their 
children determined to migrate there also, and secure homes 
for themselves. The family consisted of three brothers Levi > 
Peter and Silas; and three sisters Phoebe, Frances and 

Levi Montross drew the north half of Lot 1, Concession B., 
Charlotte ville. He was a very religious man, and in the prac- 
tical exercise of his Christian faith in the every-day affairs of 
life> he was the worthy peer of his near neighbor and brother- 
in-law, Thomas Price. Before the municipal system came into 
operation he was one of the " Town Commissioners " for Char- 
lotteville, serving as church warden. This term, " church 
warden," as applied to a township official in this country, is 
quite misleading as to its functional signification. The old 


board of township or parish officers included two whose duty, 
in part, was to look after the poor and destitute. These 
two were called " church wardens," a name borrowed from 
England and not at all appropriate in its application to these 
officials. In England the " church warden " is an ecclesiastical 
official, whose duty is to look after the edifice of the church, 
superintend ceremonial worship, and such like duties, in his 
parish. It is simply one of the many English terms which, 
owing to a different condition of things, have been ridiculously 
misapplied in the institutions of this country. Many of these 
incongruous terms have been dropped, and as our own peculiar 
institutions develop, our terminology becomes less English and 
more Canadian. 

As a church warden in those early days, Levi Montross left 
a clean record behind him. In 1806 he was appointed High 
Constable of London District, serving as such for one year. 
He died childless, willing his farm to his nephew, Peter Price. 

Peter Montross married a daughter of Zebulun Leach, and 
settled on land adjoining his brother Levi, which he drew from 
Government. For many years he kept a little store on this 
place, and during the rebellion he turned over, free gratis, his 
stock of powder to Major Backhouse, and his stock of flints -to 
Simpson McCall the latter having been sent with a dispatch 
to Backhouse ordering; that officer to forward the militia under 


his command. Peter Montross also died childless. He willed 
his farm to his nephew, Jeremiah Johnson, the old pioneer 
Baptist deacon. 

Silas Montross drew land on the lake shore adjoining " The 
Glen " on the east. Here he settled, having married Sarah, 
daughter of Frederick Mabee, and here he raised his family. 
Pellum Mabee started the nucleus of a distillery down at the 
mouth of the ravine, which passed into the hands of Silas 
Montross, and which was developed and operated by him until 
the premises were purchased by Cross & Fisher. During the 
War of 1812, a party of Americans landed at this place and 
burned the Finch mill and looted the distillery, carrying off a 


large quantity of whiskey. Mr. Montross died in 1824, in hi& 
52nd year ; and Sarah, his wife, died in 1818, in her 40th year. 

In the year 1808, a session of the March term of the old 
Quarter Sessions Court of London District, was held at Silas 
Montross' house. At this session Thomas Welch, Esquire, sat 
on the bench as judge, or chairman, with Nathan B. Barnum. 
William Hutchinson and Samuel Ryerse, Esquires, as associate 
justices. The following persons were present as grand jurors : 
Aaron Culver, foreman ; Philip Sovereign, Nesbett Culver, 
John Slaght, Matthias Messacar, Morris Sovereign, Henry 
Beemer, Leonard Sovereign, Abraham Messacar, John Culver, 
Daniel Millard* William Robinson, and Michael Shoft. Abner 
Decew was the constable in charge of them. 

The Commission of the Peace and Statutes of the 35th of 
George III., was publicly read. The High Sheriff and con- 
stables were called, and the latter answered to their names as 
follows : Abner Decew, Silas Dean, Charles Burch, William 
Winegarner, Garrett Smith and Manuel Allen. 

The justices present were then called to put in their recog- 
nizances. After this the grand jurors were called, sworn and 
charged, after which they retired. After the usual proclamation 
was made, Finlay Malcolm and William Winegarner were called 
and sworn to give evidence to the grand jury. 

The Court then adjourned until four o'clock in the after- 
noon ; and when it again convened, Alexander Taggart, Jesse 
Rice and Morris Thomas were fined fifteen shillings for non- 
attendance as jurymen. 

This session of the Court was held on the 8th day of March ? 
and the reason for holding it at the house of Silas Montross is 
not made apparent in the old record. It does show, however, 
that Mr. Montross was appointed Constable for Charlotteville 
and Walsingham at the June term in 1805. 

Silas Montross had five sons Wilson, Horatio Nelson, Levi, 
Rodney and Anderson ; and three daughters Matilda, Julia 

and Harriet ; who married, respectively, Donald Fisher, 

Lafevre and Samuel Gooden. 


Wilson Montross, eldest son of Silas, settled in Walsingham 
at first, but finally went to California with his family. 

Horatio Nelson Montross, second son of Silas, married 
Cynthia Story, settled on the homestead, and had four sons 
Levi, James, Joseph and Alvin ; and one daughter, Adaline. 
Levi and Alvin were tinsmiths, and at one time were eno-ao-ed 

, o 

in business in Simcoe. 

No data was obtained as -to the genealogy of the family of 
Levi, third son of Silas Montross. 

Rodney Montross, fourth son of Silas, married Clarissa 
Green, settled on the homestead, and had five sons John, 
Morris, Wilson, Lewis and Ansley ; and two daughters Sarah 
and Mary Ann. Anderson Montross, youngest son of Silas, 
died single. 

PHCEBE, FRANCES and MAUGARET Montross, the three original 
sisters, became the pioneer mothers of large and influential 
families. They married, respectively, Andrew McCleish, 
Thomas Price and Lawrence Johnson. 



THE first move made towards the organization of a " Protes- 
tant Episcopal Church of England for the County of Norfolk 
in the District of London, and Province of Upper Canada," as 
it was termed, was made January 3rd, 1803, at a meeting 
-convened at Job Loder's house, at the Town of Charlotte ville. 
John Backhouse, Esquire, presided over this meeting, and 
Stephen Bartow officiated as " clerk." Jonathan Williams, 
William Hutchinson and Isaac Gilbert, were elected Trustees 
''to represent said church." Two subscription sheets were 
drawn up one for the raising of funds for the support of an 
Episcopal clergyman, and the other for the raising of funds for 
the building of a parsonage. 

On the twenty-second day of the same month they met 
again at the same place, when it was resolved by motion of 
Jonathan Williams, " That the parsonage, when built, shall be 
a joint property of the three townships of Woodhouse, Char- 
lotte ville and Walsingham, and the township in which the 
parsonage may be built, shall be answerable to the other town- 
ships, and pay over the valuation of their shares of said parson- 
age at the separation ; " also, by motion of Mr. Van Allan, 
<c That said parsonage shall be built in the township of Char- 
lotteville ; " also, by motion of William Hutchinson, " That 
Samuel Ryerse, John Backhouse and Jonathan Williams, 
Esquires, be, and hereby are, authorized to enquire in what 
manner a glebe lot may be obtained from Government, and also 
to enquire in what manner a clergyman may be established 
according to the custom of England." It was also resolved at 


this meeting that " 40 be offered as a support (to be paid in 
produce of this country) to a clergyman for the said three 

The next meeting occurred on April llth following, being. 
Easter Monday. Jonathan Williams occupied the chair. A 
vote was taken to reinstate the previously elected trustees for 
the ensuing year ; also, to reinstate Stephen Bartow as clerk 
for the ensuing year. 

At the annual meeting held on Easter Monday, April 2nd, 
1804, William Hutchinson officiated as chairman. Lot Tisdale 
was elected clerk, and Isaac Gilbert and Joseph Ryerson were 
elected church wardens. At this meeting a vestry was 
established, consisting of the following seven members ; Samuel 
Ryerson, Esq., Jonathan Williams, Esq., Stephen Bartow, 
Ephraim Tisdale, Israel Wood, Henry Van Allan, and John 
Backhouse. The church wardens and vestry were authorized 
" to collect the subscriptions and pay it over into the hands of 
John Backhouse, Samuel Ryerse, Thomas Welch, and Joseph 
Ryerson, for the use of the clergyman when he arrives." 

The record ends here, and we are unable to follow this 
pioneer movement further ; but it is said that an ecclesiastical 
benefice was subsequently secured, consisting of one hundred 
acres of land, located at Turkey Point. This glebe land was 
never improved or occupied for the benefit of the church, as 
the " Town of Charlotteville " was doomed to die in infancy 
and pass into history as a mere accidental condition of pioneer 

In 1815 Vittoria became judicial headquarters, and when 
the new Court-house was erected it was used for a time for occa- 
sional religious services, by the Episcopalians and Methodists 
the Baptists having a meeting-house of their own. Early in 
the second decade of the century the Episcopalians decided to 
build a church edifice at Vittoria, and the location chosen was 
the rise of ground south of the village, on the side road running 
through the farm of Joseph McCall. The timbers were gotten 
out and delivered on the ground, but owing to changes in the 


condition of settlement and other matters, the building was not 
erected. Some of the Charlotte ville communicants had allied 
themselves with other denominations, while the number in the 
vicinity of Simcoe had increased. This state of affairs demanded 
a change of location, and a more central point was accordingly 
chosen. Joseph Culver generously donated the land, and 
before the first quarter of the century was completed, St. John's 
Church was added to the pioneer churches of Norfolk. 

Old St. John's first regularly-established clergyman was the 
Rev. Francis Evans, a man of most exemplary character. The 
name of Francis Evans will always occupy a prominent place 
among the clerical pioneers of Norfolk. Both he and his wife 
possessed a fine education ; and their pleasing address, refined 
tastes and cultured manners exerted a most beneficent influence 
on the social status of those primitive times. They had a 
family of twelve children; and, being indefatigable workers 
themselves, taught them the dignity of labor and the blighting 
effects of idleness. Mr. Evans was so strongly impressed with 
the duty of parents in respect to keeping their children out of 
the demoralizing slough of idleness, that he used to say that if 
he could not find anything else for his children to do, he would 
make them pick up, scatter, and pick up chips until something 
turned up which might prove more profitable. The stipend 
received by Mr. Evans was insufficient for the support of him- 
self, his wife, and his twelve children in any degree of luxury. 
Indeed, it was barely sufficient to provide the family with the 
common necessaries of life, and to make the struggle less severe 
the parsonage was converted into a boarding-house and a select 
school. The income derived from these sources, in addition to 
the stipend and the hard-earned products of the glebe lands, 
furnished the means of a frugal livelihood a condition best 
suited to the proper rearing of children and developing them 
into useful men and women. Three or four of the sons in this 
large family became clergymen, and one daughter married a 
clergyman. One of these sons, Rev, William Evans, subse- 
quently became rector of St. John's, thereby proving himself a 


" noble son of a grand old sire." Rev. Francis Evans was far 
in advance of the times in his enunciated opinions on the 
hygienic and economic phases of the temperance question. He 
was a staunch advocate of temperance, and by both precept and 
example did a noble work in moulding a more rational public 
sentiment on the demoralizing and devitalizing effects of strong 
drink. When the County Grammar School was established in 
Simcoe, Mr. Evans was placed in charge, thereby becoming the 
pioneer teacher in Norfolk's higher course of education at the 
county seat. Mr. Evans was an efficient educator, as shown by 
the large number of his pupils who have distinguished them- 
selves in the various walks of life. 

Previous to the coming of Mr. Evans, the Magistrates did 
pretty much all the marrying for the Episcopalians, as all 
dissenting clergymen, especially Methodists and Baptists, were 
not at first allowed to solemnize marriages. This was the cause 
of much friction among the settlers. 

A story is told of a couple who came to the rectory 
from one of the back townships to be married. They came 
twelve miles through the woods with an ox team, and when 
they arrived at the rectory they objected to Mr. Evans' request 
to go on to the church, as it would add another mile to the 
journey, and make them that much later in reaching home. 
The clergyman did not believe in solemnizing marriages outside 
of the church, but he was liberal and obliging, and on this 
occasion yielded to the force of circumstances and consented to 
marry them at the rectory. But the house had but one room 
and this room had just been carpeted with a new carpet woven 
by the busy fingers of the rector's wife, and being averse to 
having this carpet ruined by mud-bespattered applicants for 
admission to the mystic realm of matrimony, she suggested 
that the couple be " spliced " in the barn. This aroused the ire 
of the would-be husband, and he indulged in a little plain talk. 
He became abusive, but was suddenly checked by the blushing 
girl who stepped forward, and, with a wave of her hand, said : 
" No, John, no ; we will be married in the stable. If our 


Saviour could be born in a stable, I guess I can be married in 
one " This stilled the storm and they were so married. 

The County of Norfolk is included in the Diocese of Huron. 
The present Rural Dean of the county is the Rev. R. Hicks, 
B.D., a gentleman eminently qualified for the position. The 
present Rector of old St. John's is Rev. Canon Young, B.D. 
The Rural Dean resides in the parish of Simcoe, which includes 
one hundred and fifty families. Outside of Simcoe parish there 
are eleven other English Episcopal churches in the county, 
located as follows : 

St. John's, Woodhouse, thirteen families, Rev. Canon Young. 

Trinity church, Waterford, nine families, Rev. Canon Young. 

St. John's church, Port Rowan, twenty-seven families ; St. 
William's, with seventeen families, and Gireh church, Rowan 
Mills, fifteen families all in charge of Rev. Arthur Shore. 

St. Paul's church, Port Dover, thirty-six families, and Christ 
church, Vittoria, nine families both in charge of Rev. J. R. 

St. Alban's church, Delhi, nineteen families ; Christ church, 
Lynedoch, seven families; St. Jude's church, Courtland, five 
families, and St. Paul's church, Langton, four families all in 
charge of Rev. F. Leigh. 

The total number of Norfolk families adhering to the 
English Church is 311, and this represents a population of about 
1,555. The actual church population of the parish of Simcoe 
is 709, being a little under the usual proportion, while in other 
places excesses are shown, so that the average is fairly repre- 
sented by the above figures. 

The above statistical facts are taken from the returns for 
1896, and it appears that in that year these 311 families raised 
the sum of $5,293.03 for church purposes, being an average of 
over $17.00 to the family. This is a remarkably good showing 
and redounds to the credit of the givers. 



REV. A. SLAGHT, of Waterford, is the grandson of Job 
Slaght, who, with his two brothers, Richard and John, came to- 
Upper Canada from New Jersey in the early days of Long 
Point settlement. It has been said that the original Slaght 
brothers were U. E. Loyalists, but this is a mistake so far at. 
least as Job is concerned, as shown by the following copy of a 
Magisterial Certificate : 


"This may certify that on the 6th day of August 1777, 
before me, I the undersigned, one of the justices in and for 
Sussex county, voluntarily appeared Job Slaght, and took and 
subscribed the oath of abjuration and allegiance, as by law 


It will thus be seen that Job Slaght was a citizen of the 
new Republic the year following the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, whatever he may have been previously. In the Water- 
ford home of the subject of this sketch may be seen the old 
family Bible of Job Slaght, which bears the following bold 
inscription on the fly-leaf : 

"Job Slaght, his book, bought of Holmes & Pemberton, 
3rd December, 1793." 

And just here it will not be out of place to state that in 
the studio of Rev. A. Slaght are many choice old heirlooms 
which were brought from New Jersey by his grandfather more 
than a hundred years ago. In this collection are some twenty- 


five specimens of old colonial paper currency of New Jersey, of 
various designs and denominational values. They are rare old 
specimens of great value. Mr. Israel Slaght, of Waterford, also 
has a number of similar specimens, one of which he mailed to 
the Queen ; and Her Majesty was so well pleased with it that 
she acknowledged the favor by letter and presented Mr. Slaght 
with a beautiful portrait of herself. In a little wooden box, 
with a hinged lid fastened with a wire hook, may be seen a 
pair of nose-glasses which, no doubt, came from " Faterland " 
among the personal effects of old Hendrick Slacht. In the old 
trunk are mechanical tools, bullet moulds, spoon moulds, the 
old outfit for obtaining fire, and various other relics of a by- 
gone age, sad reminders of the crude lives that fell to the lot of 
our brave old foundation-builders. One of the most highly 
valued souvenirs in Elder Slaght's collection, is the silver 
medal won by his father, Aaron Slaght, in the war of 1812. 

Job Slaght had a New Jersey neighbor who was the owner 
of an incorrigible hog, as evidenced by the following old relic : 

"DECEMBER 15th, 1785. 

" One hog trespassing on Job Slaght, damage priced by us, 
the under subscribers, at twelve shillings and sixpence. 



In 1796, Job Slaght came to Upper Canada with his family. 
After remaining about a year at Niagara, the family came up 
to Long Point settlement, and settled on Lots 8 and 9, in the 
8th concession of Townsend. While at Niagara, Mr. Slaght 
purchased 1,400 acres of land from James Secord, taking his 
bond for a deed. He was a blacksmith by trade, and came to 
Canada with considerable means for those times. The family 
came up along the lake shore in company with others, and 
brought horses, cows and other stock with them. Aaron, the 
youngest son in the family, was three years old, and rode on the 
back of a horse with his mother when they came up from 


Niagara in 1797, just one hundred years ago. The maiden 
name of this old pioneer mother was Elizabeth Johnson, who 
possessed all the sterling qualities of character that so signally 
distinguished her family. The original Avery Mill at Water- 
ford was built with money furnished by Job Slaght. In 1805, 
he was appointed Constable for Townsend. 

In Job Slaght's family were fourteen children, eight of 
whom were living in 1807, when he made his will. The names 
of his five sons were Henry, Job, Cornelius, John and Aaron. 
The three daughters mentioned in the will are Elizabeth, 
Mary and Sarah. 

Henry Slaght, eldest son of Job, married Abigail Hemin- 
over, and settled north of Waterford. He had two sons Job 
and Parney ; and two daughters Elizabeth and Mary. 

Job Slaght, second son of Job, married Patience Robinson, 
and settled near the " Five Bridges," Townsend. By this mar- 
riage he had three sons Philip, Matthias and Darius ; and 
three daughters Lavinia, Hannah and Lydia. Subsequently 
he married Elizabeth Mills, by whom he had seven sons Silas, 
Hiram, James, Israel, Job, John and Levi ; and three daughters 
Louisa, Melinda and Ellen. The Israel Slaght referred to as 
having presented Her Majesty with a specimen of old conti- 
nental money, is of this family. He has in his possession an 
antiquated tin trunk, in which the old New Jersey title deeds 
are being carefully preserved. 

Cornelius Slaght, third son of Job, married Anna Dudbridge, 
and settled at Nanticoke Falls, Townsend. When his eldest 
son, Nathaniel, was eighteen years old, the family moved to 
Michigan in two covered wagons drawn by oxen. They settled 
in Ionia County, and subsequently, Nathaniel became interested 
in the lumbering business. 

John Slaght, fourth son of Job, married into the Malcolm 
family, and settled near Scotland, where he raised a family. 

Aaron Slaght, fifth and youngest son of Job, married Mrs. 
William Clark, nee Catherine Whitehead. By her first mar- 
riage she had one son, who was no less a personage than the 


late Colonel Thomas W. Clark, of Waterford. Mrs.- Clark was 
left a widow and a mother at the age of eighteen. By this 
marriage Mr. Slaght had three sons Lewis, Hugh and Aaron. 
LEWIS died at the age of twenty-four; HUGH married Eunice 
Kellum ; and AARON, the youngest son of Aaron, is the subject 
of this sketch. 

Rev. Aaron Slaght, who died in his 76th year, since this 
sketch was first written, was not only a pulpit veteran, but was 
one of the best known business men in Norfolk. He led a 
busy life, and was a busy man right up to his last illness. 
He was born in 1822, and the first twenty years of his 
life were spent on the farm. In 1842 he entered the Baptist 
College at Montreal, from which he graduated in due time. 
While pursuing his studies he also attended lectures at McGill 
College. Shortly after completing his theological course, he 
married Lucy A. H. Whitney, of Stanbridge, Eastern Town- 
ships, and settled in Waterford, where he immediately began 
his ministerial work. This was in 1845, there being no church 
organization in Waterford at that time. Some time previously 
Job Loder had erected a little chapel, and the religious meetings 
held therein had been of a non-denominational order. At the 
close of the young Baptist preacher's third year he had 
succeeded in organizing a Baptist church, consisting of eight 
members. This was in 184C, and Elder Slaght was the last sur- 
vivor of this little pioneer church as at first constituted. Mr. 
Loder generously donated the chapel to the new church by deed 
of conveyance. It had been used for general purposes and was 
quite out of repair, but it was soon put in good shape, and the 
membership increased rapidly. One of the first resolutions put 
on record, after the chapel became the sole property of the 
Baptists and was put in proper repair, was to the effect of 
granting the privilege of its use, alternately, to the Methodists 
and other denominations. Surely, the general community at 
this time had no reason to complain of uncharitableness on 
the part of the pioneer Baptist church of Waterford. 

Elder Slaght had charge of the Waterford Baptist Church 


for thirty-six years, and when he resigned his pastorate, in 
1882, he had built a magnificent church edifice, costing $15,000, 
and had increased the membership to 360 communicants. But 
this is not all. During these thirty-six years seven churches 
had been founded in outlying sections, and no man was more 
instrumental in accomplishing this work than Elder Slaght. 
During this time he built up a church at Round Plains of sixty 
members, added a score or more to Simcoe church, and baptized 
as many as twenty-five in a day for Bloomsburg, while pastor 
of that church. At the time of his resignation the population 
of Waterford and Townsend was about 8,000, one-eighth of 
which were Baptist communicants. When he returned from 
the silver mines of Colorado in 1886, he took up the work at 
Lynnville, with only eleven members, and at the end of a five- 
years' pastorate he had built up a church of sixty members. 
He had no statistics showing the number of persons baptized, 
or the number of conjugal knots tied by him, but the number 
of burial services conducted by this old veteran foots up to 
about 1,300, including many of the old pioneer preachers. He 
buried a large number of the old pioneers, including the first 
white female settler in the township of Townsend. 

Notwithstanding the many pastoral duties which have 
always crowded thick and fast upon the life of Elder Slaght, 
he was never without secular employment connected with 
important interests, demanding much thought and a large 
amount of executive force and business ability. He was 
always an agriculturist. He operated a nursery for about 
fifteen years, and was engaged in the milling and shipping 
business for about the same number of years in connection 
with his father. While engaged in the latter business the 
firm suffered fire losses amounting to $20,000. The annual 
volume of business conducted by them was very large having 
reached, in some years, the respectable sum of $200,000. Last 
fall he and his partner consumed 22,000 bushels of apples in 
their evaporating works, and two years ago they furnished a 
market for 25,000 bushels. 


In 1890 Elder Slaght was appointed Inspector of Mines for 
the Province of Ontario, and the duties of this office alone would 
have worried many a younger man. By virtue of his official 
position he was a Justice of the Peace, a fact not generally 
known. He was always interested in the cause of education, 
having served in " ye olden time " as a local superintendent of 
schools in his native township for a period of ten years. 

Elder Slaght was twice married. By his first wife he had 
two daughters Lucy Ann and Mary Helen. They became 
the first and second wives of Dr. Backhouse. In 1849 Mrs. 
Slaght died, and subsequently Mr. Slaght married Sylvia A., 
daughter of Philip Beemer, by whom he had one son, T. E. 
Slaght, the Simcoe lawyer ; and three daughters Theresa, who 
died young ; R. Minnie, who died single at the age of twenty- 
four, and Katie B., who occupies the old home with her 

Sarah, eldest daughter of the original Job, married Abraham 
Messacar, and settled on the round plains. Her children are 
enumerated in the Messacar genealogy. 

Elizabeth, second daughter of the original Job, married 
Ezra Parney. Her children are enumerated in the Parney 

Mary, youngest daugher of the original Job, married John 
Barber. Her children are enumerated in the Barber genealogy. 

Job Slaght, the old pioneer, made his will August 18th, 1807, 
which was witnessed by Benjamin Caryl and John Muckle. 
In this will he devised two hundred acres of land to each of his 
five sons, and one hundred acres to each of his three daughters, 
and bequeathed his personal property equally among them. 
For a general sketch of the Slaght family, see " The Sons of 
Old Hendrick Slacht." 



AMONG the many German families living in German Valley, 
Morris County, New Jersey, in the latter part of the eighteenth 
century, was the family of Christopher Kern. In the family 
were three sons David, Christopher and John ; and one 
daughter, Anna. All were married and had families, and the 
old people were well advanced in years. Such was the family 
situation in 1799, when David, the eldest son, was seized with 
that impulse to emigrate which actuated so many New Jersey 
people at this time, and he came with his family to Upper 
Canada, and settled near Hamilton. The following year 
Christopher and John, with their families and the old people, 
left German Valley in the month of June and started for the 
new Canadian El Dorado. They brought horses, cows, sheep, 
pigs and poultry, and all their household effects with them, and 
it took six weeks to complete the journey. The old people 
were very feeble and the long journey was too much for them. 
They gave out on the way, and never reached the new country. 
This throws a tinge of sadness over the event, yet it was better 
so, as the aged couple were ill-prepared to endure the rough 
life that awaited them in the wilds of an unbroken forest. 

John Kern brought $500 in cash with him. It was all he 
had, and he intended to purchase a home with it, but when he 
arrived at Niagara a land shark or, in other words, an infernal 
scoundrel met him and induced him to buy five hundred acres 
of land at a dollar per acre, which was represented as being of 
good quality and very desirable in every respect. Mr. Kern 


exchanged his capital for a deed of the land, and when he 
arrived in Long Point settlement he made the sickening dis- 
covery that his land was absolutely worthless. This meant 
privation and a pinchinrg destitution for a few years, that would 
have been a cruel experience for the old people. 

John Kern settled near Forestville, in what has ever since 
been known as the " Kern Settlement." He was a blacksmith, 
and being a hard worker and prudent manager, succeeded in 
hewing out a home for himself, which was amply supplied 
with the comforts of life as enjoyed in his day. He built and 
operated a still-house in connection with his other business, 
and was always busily employed at something. He was 
upright and honorable in every business transaction; was a 
Presbyterian in his church relations, and was highly respected 
by all who knew him. June 10th, 1806, he was appointed 
Town Clerk for the Township of Char lot teville by the Court 
of Sessions. This was an unusual proceeding on the part of 
the court, but the township had failed to hold a town meeting 
the preceding spring, and the court was compelled to appoint 
the town officials. 

Christopher Kern, brother of David and John, settled near 
Woodstock, in Oxford County. He was one of the earliest 
pioneers of that county, and had to carry grist on the back of 
a horse to Ancaster, a distance of fifty miles. The old Chris- 
topher Kern homestead is said to be one of the oldest homes 
standing in the County of Oxford. His son Jacob took an 
active part in the war of 1812. For some unknown reason 
the Oxford branch of the family changed the " e " in the name 
to " a," making it Karn instead of Kern. 

John Kern, the old Long Point pioneer, had six children 
when he came to Canada two sons and four daughters. He 
served with his team during the war of 1812, and was at the 
battle of Lundy's Lane. His eldest son, Christopher, was also in 
his adopted country's service during this war. The children 
of John Kern were brought up to work. All were compelled 
to contribute in some way towards lightening the family 


burdens. The girls worked both outside and inside, at what- 
ever their hands could find to do. They grew flax, sheared 
sheep, worked in the fields, drove oxen, raked and bound grain, 
pitched hay and sheaves, spun, wove, made coverlets for sale, 
and made themselves useful in every possible way to get along. 
John Kern had three sons Christopher, John and Samuel ; 
.and nine daughters Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, Sofia, Charity, 
Anna, Sarah, Susan and Martha. 

Christopher Kern, eldest son of John, was born in New 
Jersey. He married Elizabeth Pease, and settled near Forest- 
ville. He had two sons Levi and Herbert ; and four daugh- 
ters Eliza, Charity, Sarah and Alvira. 

John Kern, second son of John, was born in New Jersey, 
and died single in Charlotteville. 

Samuel Kern, youngest son and last-born child of John 
Kern, married Maria Mabee, and settled on the homestead. 
He had two sons William and John ; and two daughters 
Melissa and Calista. 

Mary Kern, eldest daughter of John, was born in New 
Jersey. She married Timothy Culver, and settled in Townsend. 

Catherine Kern, second daughter of John, was born in 
New Jersey. She married James Stokes, and settled at New 
Sarum, Elgin County. She had five sons John, James, 
George, Samuel and David ; and four daughters Charity, 
Mary, Sarah and Sally Ann. 

Elizabeth Kern, third daughter of John, was twice married. 
By her first husband, Ebenezer Culver, she had two daughters 
Martha and Adeline ; and by her second husband, Isaac 
Stockwell, she had two sons John and George ; and four or 
five daughters. Mr. Culver caught a cold while performing 
military duty, and died from its effects. Mr. Stockwell's life 
was spent in Windham and Townsend. 

Sofia Kern, fourth daughter of John, was born in New 
Jersey. She married Nathan Smith, and settled in Norfolk. 
She had two sons Levi and Nathan. 

Charity Kern, fifth daughter of John, married Joseph 


Wicks, and settled in Dereham. She had five sons John,. 
Amos, Walter, Joseph and Isaac ; and one daughter, Rhoda. 

Anna Kern, sixth daughter of John, married John Bryning, 
and settled in Forestville. She had four sons Edgar, John,. 
James and Alonzo ; and two daughters Esther and Sarah 

Sarah Kern, seventh daughter of John, married John 
Mark Culver. Her children are enumerated in the Culver 

Susan Kern, eighth daughter of John, married William 
Fray, and settled in Charlotteville. She raised a family, two* 
of whom were Philip and John. 

Martha Kern, ninth and youngest daughter of John,, 
married William Cunningham, of Townsend. By this union 
she had two sons William and Samuel ; and one daughter,. 
Sarah. Subsequently, she married William McMichael, and 
settled in Waterford. By this marriage she had four sons 
Oscar, Walter, Romaine A. and Albert E.; and two daughters 
Mary Jane and Ruth Valdora. 

Mrs. McMichael is the sole survivor of her generation. If 
she lives to see the snows of four more winters she will be 
ninety years old, and yet she has the mental and physical 
vigor of a woman of seventy. She is one of the very few 
persons living whose parents settled in Norfolk County before 
the dawn of the nineteenth century. 

Mrs. McMichael's girlhood days were not spent in idleness. 
Fashionable young society ladies who visit Grandmother 
McMichael in her elegant Waterford home, are entertained 
with tales of a life unknown to them. She talks of a time 
when bears were frequently seen walking erect with stolen 
hogs in their arms, and of a time when the best girls in the 
neighborhood drove oxen for the boys who held the plough- 
handles. She speaks of a time when she, herself, wove nine- 
teen yards of cloth in a day, and raked and bound after a 
cradler all day long in harvest time. Sometimes two yokes of 
oxen were hitched to the plough, and then it required an expert 


ox-driver to manage both yokes. Mrs. McMichael has driven 
a double team of this kind many a time. She says her father 
once hired a raw Englishman, and she and the new hand were 
set to driving a double ox team hitched to a plough. The 
Englishman took command of the leaders, but he knew nothing 
about driving oxen, and she made him drive the rear team 
until he had learned how to drive. 

In modern times her younger sons once happened to have 
occasion to hitch a yoke of oxen to a wagon, but they failed 
to accomplish the task, and she had to go out and do it herself. 
In relating the circumstance, she said : " At first they tried to 
' co-bossy ' them into obedience, an' when that failed they jist 
yelled ' whoa-haw-gee ' at 'em till the poor brutes was almost 
scart out o' their hides." 

Mrs. McMichael relates a funny incident that happened 
when she was only three years old. It happened in 1814 while 
her father was in the distillery business, but we will let her 
tell the story herself : 

" There was a barrel o' peach brandy upstairs, an' I'd often 
seen the boys lie down and take a drink by puttin' their 
mouths under the spigot and turnin' the tap, an' so one day I 
thought I'd try it myself. Well, after awhile the folks down 
stairs saw something leakin' down through the floor, an' when 
they came up to see what was the matter, they found me layin' 
in a puddle o' peach brandy stone drunk." 

Grandmother McMichael is a worker still, being able to put 
out her washing by nine o'clock on Monday mornings. May 
her days be many yet. 



THE Buchners and Boughners are branches of one family 
tree. They are a numerous family, and widely scattered 
throughout Canada and the neighboring States. They are of 
German descent. The form " Buchner " is more in conformity 
with the original style of spelling the name, and the one 
retained by the larger portion of the family. 

The Buchner family settled in the colony of New Jersey 
before the spirit of independence had divided the colonists into 
opposing factions, the one loyal and the other disloyal to the 
British Crown. The Buchners were loyal from beginning to 
end. They were loyal when it was the popular thing to be 
loyal, and when the advocates of independence had succeeded 
in winning over an overwhelming majority to their side, and 
the Loyalist element had dwindled into a hated minority, the 
Buchners still remained loyal. Their home was in Sussex 
County, and when the colonies threw off their allegiance they 
joined the British forces and fought for British supremacy on 
the American continent. In 1789, about six years after peace 
had been restored, four brothers of this family Henry, John, 
Matthias and Martin came to Upper Canada and settled at 
Lyon's Creek, and in the closing year of the century, Matthias 
Buchner or Boughner (as the name is spelled by this branch 
of the family), third brother of the quartette, came up to Long 
Point settlement, and settled on the west side of the Culver 
settlement, in the township of Windham. The family of 
Matthias Boughner drew some eight hundred acres of land in 
the 13th and 14th concessions, and the pioneer log cabin was 


erected on Lot 6, 13th concession, where the present residence 
of Elias Boughner stands. In moving up from Niagara the 
usual trail along the lake shore was followed. 

The sons and daughters of Matthias Boughner were all pretty 
much grown up when the settlement was made in Windham. 
He and his sons were expert hunters, and did their share in 
exterminating the wild beasts that haunted the great Windham 
swamp. They were exceedingly fond of gunning, and many 
interesting stories are told of their experiences in the Windham 
forests in those early pioneer times, when " Rattlesnake Harbor 5> 
was a veritable den of rattlesnakes and the wolves and bears 
held high carnival in the brush-entangled cedar thickets. In 
those days deer were more plentiful than rabbits are now, and 
venison steak was an every day table delicacy. 

Miss Catherine Boughner, who resides at the old homestead, 
has in her possession an Indian tomahawk with a pipe-bowl 
head, with which Martin Boughner (son of Matthias) killed a 
bear. Mr. Boughner shot the bear, but being only slightly 
wounded, it turned and grappled with him. Throwing his- 
empty rifle aside he seized his tomahawk and, managing to 
keep his right arm free from bruin's embrace, he succeeded in 
beating in the brains of the beast with the pipe-bowl head of 
the scalper. 

The great swampy heart of Windham remained a safe 
breeding ground for bears long after they had been driven out 
of the forests and lesser swamps of the older townships ; and 
the adjacent settlers, therefore, were subjected to rather more 
than their share of the nocturnal depredations of these lubberly 
pests. It was almost impossible for these settlers to keep pigs, 
and sheep. Bruin was particularly fond of fresh pork ; and 
the agonizing squeal of some unfortunate porker, as he was 
being hugged in the embrace of death by his lubberly enemy, 
was a sound that frequently broke the " stilly watches of the 
night." On one occasion Mr. Boughner and his son Peter saw 
a bear seize a hog and start off with it. They went in pursuit 
of the pig-stealer, armed with an axe, and caught up with him 


just as he was about to jump over a log with his prey ; and, 
as he did so, Peter buried the axe in the bear's back. The axe 
caught fast in bruin's vertebral column and Peter lost his hold 
on the handle and fell backwards to the ground. The bear 
immediately turned upon him, and had it not been for the 
ugly wound given him, that Boughner's name would have been 
"Dennis" instead of Peter. Martin Boughner was a better shot 
than his brother Peter, and killed more bears probably than 
any other member of the family. It is not known how many 
he killed, but he never shot more than two in any one week. 
The trusty old rifle used by him is being preserved by his 
daughter, Miss Catherine Boughner. She has, also, the old deed 
given by Matthias to her father, bearing date, January 7th, 
1812. It is very lengthy, all written out, and cost ten shillings 
and fourpence-threefarthings to register it. 

Matthias Boughner's day was passed when the war of 1812 
came on ; but, as he had fought in the defence of the Old Flag 
in the war of the Revolution, so did his sons in the war of 
1812. His son Martin was taken prisoner at the engagement 
at Malcolm's Mills. 

The old pioneer had six sons Peter, John, Matthias, Alex- 
ander, Martin and Joseph ; and four daughters Mary, Elsie, 
Christine and Anna. 

Peter Boughner, eldest son of Matthias, married Sarah 
Robbins, and settled on Lot 8, 13th concession, Windham. He 
had five sons Matthias, Daniel, Peter, John and Wesley ; and 
five daughters Sarah, Mercy, Mary, Elsie Ann and Elizabeth. 

John Boughner, second son of Matthias, married Rachel 
Smith, and settled finally in the township of Southwold. He 
had five sons Abraham, Sydney, John, Wesley and Isaac; 
and two daughters Mary Ann and Lavinia. 

Matthias Boughner, third son of Matthias, married Sarah 
Misner, and settled on Lot 1, 9th concession, Townsend. He 
had six sons John, George, Stephen, Nathan J., Robert and 
Zebulun Landon; and three daughters Lavinia, Hulda and 
Emily. He died in 1855, in his 78th year. 


Alexander Boughner, fourth son of the old pioneer, married 
Gertrude Glover, and settled near Aylmer. He had four sons 
Frank, Torrey, Robert and John; and five daughters 
Deborah, Eliza, Christine, Arsula, and another who married 
into the Westover family. 

Martin Boughner, fifth son of the old pioneer, succeeded to 
the old homestead. He was twice married. By his first wife, 
Elizabeth Wade, he had seven sons Hiram, Alanson, Martin, 
Nelson, David, William and Nathan W.; and six daughters 
Drusilla, Sirena, Cynthia, Mary and Ann (twins) and Jane. 
By his second wife, Mrs. Adams, nee Catherine Rose, he had 
one daughter, Catherine. In 1806 he was appointed Constable 
for Windham by the old court of Quarter Sessions. He died 
in 1861, in his 77th year. 

Joseph Boughner, youngest son of the old pioneer, married 
Nancy Merritt, and settled in the township of Dereham. He 
had one son. Jacob; and four daughters Sarah, Christine, 
Elsina and Jane. 

Mary Boughner, eldest daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Deacon Jacob Beam, of Beamsville. She had no family. 

Elsie Boughner, second daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Noah Millard, and settled in Oxford County. 

Anna Boughner, the third daughter, died single; and 
Christine, the youngest daughter of the old pioneer, married 
Nathaniel White, and settled in Woodhouse. 

The name of Buchner, or Boughner, is one of the most 
familiar names in the county As will be seen by the genealogy 
of this branch, they are inclined to large families. This has 
multiplied them rapidly and increased the name to an extent 
not exceeded probably by any other name found in the list of 
Norfolk's foundation builders. The Buchners are not a family 
of office-seekers. Their church affiliations are mostly with the 
Methodists. They are socially inclined, unobtrusive in manners, 
upright and straightforward in the everyday affairs of life ; 
and, taken in all, are fairly representative of Norfolk's best 


Were we to carry the genealogy of this branch of the 
Buchner family a generation farther, we would be introduced 
to Mr. Elias Boughner, one of Windham's most popular and 
best known citizens of the present time. Mr. Boughner occupies 
the old ancestral homestead ; that is, the portion whereon was 
erected the original home. He is prominent in his church, in 
his political party, and in social circles. He possesses a sunny 
nature, and his " latch-string " always hangs on the outside. 
He has served in the council chambers of his township and 
Bounty, and no man ever served better. On two occasions he 
has been the standard-bearer of his party in the parliamentary 
elections of the North Riding of Norfolk the first, in opposition 
to the late John B. Freeman ; and the second, in opposition to 
the present member, Mr. E. C. Carpenter. The political fates 
were against him ; but he made a good fight, and had the satis- 
faction of polling the largest vote ever cast by his party for a 
parliamentary candidate in the riding. 

As before stated, Henry Buchner was the eldest of the 
original quartette of brothers. When they left New Jersey, in 
1789, one of Henry's daughters, who was married, remained 
there. All of his children were born in New Jersey, and 
when they came to Niagara the two youngest Annie and 
Henry were balanced in baskets, hung over the back of one 
of the pack horses, and it is said that while passing along the 
side of a mountain, little Annie, who was on the lower side, 
was nearly frightened to death by the swinging out of her basket. 
It made such an impression on her childish mind that she never 
forgot it, and when she sat in the old arm-chair in her declining 
years, known by every old settler in the south-western portion 
of Windham as " old aunt Anna Howey," she never tired in 
relating the incident to her many grandchildren. 

The original Henry Buchner had a son Christopher, at 
whose home he died, having reached a good old age. After the 
father's death, Christopher moved up to Norfolk County, and 
settled in Middleton, on Lot 33, on Talbot street south. One 
Harmonias Van Alstine had previously taken up this lot, and 


he and Mr. Buchner exchanged locations. This was in about 
the year 1828. Christopher had three brothers John, Martin 
and Henry ; and three sisters Elsie, Elizabeth and Anna. Of 
this family, Christopher was the only son who settled in Norfolk, 
but two of the daughters of the original Henry Elizabeth and 
Anna married, respectively, Capt. Abner Owen, of Wood- 
house, and Daniel Howey, of Windham, and became pioneer 
mothers of two of our old Norfolk families. 

When Christopher Buchner settled in Middleton, bears and 
wolves were very numerous, and game of all kinds was plenti- 
ful. The cranberry and huckleberry swamps of Middleton 
were vast pest holes, where rattlesnakes multiplied ad libitum 
and she bears found a safe retreat for the rearing of their cubs. 
In those days the settlers were frequently compelled to turn 
out of their beds in the night time and drive away the bears- 
and wolves from their pig and sheep pens. The pens were 
built of logs, and if not bear-proof and wolf-proof, it was. 
impossible to provide the family with pork, mutton and wool. 
The late William R. Buchner, was a son of Christopher, arid 
succeeded to the Middleton homestead. He died January 26th, 
of the present year (1897), and his son, A. O. Buchner, is the 
present occupant of the old homestead. 

Jacob Buchner, the old Woodhouse pioneer, whose family 
genealogy is given in connection with the family of James 
Matthews, was a cousin of the four original Buchner brothers, 
treated of in this sketch. He came to Long Point direct from 
New Jersey. 



EVER since the village of Theresaville or Birdtown (now 
the town of Simcoe) made its appearance in the forest of Nor- 
folk, the name of Steinhoff has been familiar to its people. 
One of the original brothers settled near the place in the begin- 
ning of the century, and the old homestead is still in possession 
of the family. The Steinhoffs are of German descent. The 
grandancestor settled in one of the American colonies, and 
after the War of the Revolution, seven brothers Andrew, 
Emmanuel, Joseph, Frederick. John, Benjamin and Leo came to 
Upper Canada. They had a sister, Hannah, who married 
William Dell which became Dill and settled in Windham. 
The Steinhoffs settled, at first, in the Niagara district, but when 
Long Point settlement began to attract settlers Andrew moved 
up from Niagara and settled on Lot 2, in the 6th concession of 
Woodhouse, which had previously been taken up by one Jacob 
Lamb. Lamb's Government patent was dated August 15th, 
1803, and he sold the lot to Steinhoff for 100. 

Andrew Steinhoff and his brothers John, Frederick and 
Emmanuel were in the settlement before this, however, as the 
old court journal shows that all four sat in court as petit jurors 
at the fall term of the court of Quarter Sessions held in the 
Monroe House, in 1801. Only three of these brothers settled 
in Norfolk Andrew, Frederick and Emmanuel. There is noth- 
ing to show where John settled, or what became of him ; 
indeed, it is quite possible that the seven were not all brothers. 
It is said that Benjamin and Leo settled near Toronto, and that 
Joseph settled above St. Thomas. 


Andrew Steinhoff married Jennie Malcolm, and had four 
sons Peter, Finley, Levi and Hugh ; and five daughters 
Sarah Ann, Katie, Elsina, Emry and Arsula. Mr. Steinhoff died 
in 1814, with a fever brought on by exposure while engaged in 
military service. 

Rev. Peter Steinhoff, eldest son of Andrew, married 
Elizabeth Dill, and settled on the homestead. He was a Baptist 
preacher, and did his ministerial work, not as a pastor, properly 
speaking, but rather as an evangelist, working wherever his- 
sense of duty led him, or where the field seemed most inviting. 
He died in 1871, in his 70th year. 

Elder Steinhoff had eight sons Andrew, William, Finley r 
Abram I., Hiram F., Walter, Peter N., and Benjamin F. ; and 
two daughters Maria and Clarisa. 

Finley Steinhoff, second son of Andrew, married Sarah Ann 
Smith, and settled on land adjoining the old homestead. He 
had two sons Hugh and Orlando ; and five daughters Elsie, 
Loiva, Adeline, Juliet and Emily. 

Levi Steinhoff, third son of Andrew, married Anna -Beemer,. 
and settled in the States. 

Hugh Steinhoff, fourth son of Andrew, married Alvira Fero, 
and settled in Windham. He had two sons Lewis and Leamoii. 

Sarah Ann Steinhoff, eldest daughter off Andrew, married 
Richard Dill, of Windham, and had five sons Jacob, Peter, 
John, Levi and James ; and four daughters Harriet, Sam- 
antha, Jane and Ann. 

Katie Steinhoff, second daughter of Andrew, married Jacob 
Smith, and settled in Townsend. She had two sons Squire 
and McFarland, and several daughters. 

Elsina Steinhoff, third daughter of Andrew, married Abram 
Petitt, and settled in Windham. She had eight sons Lyman, 
Duncan, Finley, Abram, Ford, Isaac, Esmond and Walter ; and 
six daughters Theresa, Melissa, Eliza, Louisa, Susanna and 

Emry Steinhoff, fourth daughter of Andrew, married 
William Landon, a Baptist preacher. She had no children. 


Arsula Steinhoff, fifth and youngest daughter of Andrew, 
married into the McLean family. 

Frederick Steinhoff, the original pioneer brother, married 
Mary Earnhardt, and settled in Woodhouse. There was a mill 
privilege on his land and he built and operated a sawmill 
and cloth factory. He died about forty years ago, being about 
seventy at the time of his death. 

On one occasion, during Mr. Steinhoff's early pioneer life, a 
big lubber of a bear seized one of his porkers and walked off 
with it. The porker weighed about 200 Ibs., and it aroused 
Steinhoff's combativeness to see his meat carried off in this 
manner right before his eyes, so he rallied the forces at his 
command and started in pursuit. Bruin hugged his squealing 
captive to death as he waddled off with him, and when he 
reached a good place in the woods he buried his prey by the 
side of a log. Before he had finished the job, however, his 
pursuers were upon him, and he went up a tree. The guns 
were turned upon him, and a fusilade kept up until the ammu- 
nition gave out, but Mr. Bear never even changed his position. 
Thinking that the riddled and lifeless body of the pig-thief 
was lodged in the tree in such a way as to prevent it from 
falling, they proceeded to cut the tree down. After a good 
deal of hard work the tree fell ; and the supposedly dead bear 
jumped up, and, after putting his human and canine assailants 
to an ignominous flight, leisurely made his way off into the 

Frederick Steinhoff had seven sons Andrew, Jacob, John,, 
Joseph, William, Isaac and Hiram ; and one daughter, Hannah, 
who married Alexander Van Brocklyn. 

Of these sons the only one living is Isaac Steinhoff', of 
Simcoe, who has reached his 81st year. 

Emmanuel Steinhoff', the original brother, settled in Wood- 
house also. He had no family. 



THE father of Presbyterianism in Norfolk County, was 
Jabez Culver, the grandancestor of the most numerous branch 
of that family. He was ordained in New Jersey in 1760, and 
<iame to Long Point settlement with his family in 1794, and 
built the first log cabin in Windham. He was not only the 
first Presbyterian minister, but the first regularly ordained 
minister of the Gospel that came into Norfolk as a permanent 
settler. He was an indefatigable worker in the Master's vine- 
yard, and as early as 1806 he had succeeded in organizing a 
little church at his own house, which stood near the site 
of the old Windham meeting house. This was the pioneer 
Presbyterian church of Norfolk, and after it was organized its 
founder organized a congregation at Turkey Point, and also 
one at Oakland. He was known as " Priest Culver " in the 
early days of the settlement, and was a man well advanced in 
years when he came. The character of the man, the incidents 
connected with his settlement and the manner in which he 
conducted his ministerial labors among the settlers, are given 
elsewhere in connection with the family history. 

It does not appear from the evidence handed down to us, 
that any effort was made to gather these primitive congrega- 
tions into a Presbytery or union of any kind ; and when the 
fatherly old pastor was no longer able to travel through the 
forest and care for his little flocks, they wandered away from 
the fold and were gathered in by other shepherds. While the 
old veteran was able to sit in his arm-chair and preach, the 
Windham church was kept together ; but when his life's work 
came to an end, in 1819, the Windham church also ceased to 


exist as a church organization. Soon afterwards the Meth- 
odists effected an organization, and finally built a church 
edifice near the spot where Jabez Culver ministered to his 
little pioneer flock. At the dissolution some affiliated with the 
Methodists, some were absorbed by the other denominations, 
while others stood aloof until the Rev. John Bryning came over 
from Mount Pleasant and gathered up the fragments and 
organized a Presbyterian congregation in Simcoe in the year 

The original membership of the pioneer Windham church, 
as far as can be learned, consisted of the following persons : 

Aaron Culver and his wife, Elizabeth ; Jabez Culver, jun., 
and his wife, Anna ; John Culver and his wife, Miriam ; John 
Beemer, Esq., and his wife, Hannah; and Miss Susanna Horton. 
The latter was a daughter of Samuel Horton, the old Windham 
pioneer blacksmith, of " Buckwheat Street." Miss Horton was 
about seventeen at this time 1806 and subsequently she 
became the wife of Abraham Young, the old Windham pioneer, 
who lived to be nearly a hundred years old. Mrs. Nelson 
Culver, of Normandale, one of the staunch est Presbyterian 
mothers in Norfolk to-day, is a daughter of Mrs. Young, nee 
Susanna Horton. 

Rev. John Bryning was an indefatigable worker also. He 
travelled through the woods and went about the settlement 
from cabin to cabin, gathering up the lost sheep, and soon he 
had them organized into a congregation. Services were held 
in the school-house, and the cause grew and flourished. 

After eighteen years of prosperity it was decided to erect a 
church edifice. The old subscription list has been preserved, 
the following being a correct copy : 

"DECEMBER 16th, 1838. 

" At a preliminary meeting held at the house of Alexander 
Craik, in Wellington, preparatory to a general meeting to be 
held to-morrow evening at the same place, for the purpose of 
devising measures for the erection of a place of worship in 
Simcoe, of the Presbyterian Order, in connection with the 
United Synod of Upper Canada. 



" We, the undersigned, agree to pay (for that purpose) the 
sums severally attached to our names : 

s. d. 

Peter O'Carr - - - 25 

Abraham Young - - 12 10 

John Polly - - - 4 

Joseph Tilney - - 5 

Alexander Craik - - 7 10 

Francis Byfield - - 2 10 

John Bryning - - 2 10 

William Wilson - - 2 10 

T. J. Mulkins - 3 10 

William Hardy * - 2 10 

William P. Wilson - 150 

William Salmon - - 2 10 

John McGill - - - 5 

Thomas Tate - - - 1 5 

J. W. Powell - - 2 10 

Oliver T. Ashbough - 150 

I. Fero - - - - 1 5 

B. B. Smith - - - 1 5 

Mrs. Davies - - - 1 5 

Samuel Chadwick - - 5 

Jabez L. Culver - - 2 10 

Robert Culver - - 1 5 

John Brooks - - - 1 5 

Alexander Crawford - 150 

Francis P. Rose - - 1 5 

Archibald McEwen - 100 

Andrew Mcliinis - - 500 

Jacob Langs - - 2 10 

Robert Waddel - - 1 

D. Sutherland - - 2 10 

Daniel Matthews - - 2 10 

In 1843 contentions arose in the church which resulted in a 
separation. Those who were in sympathy with the Free 
Church movement went out from their brethren and organized 
themselves into a new church, and erected a church edifice on 
Norfolk Street. The " Auld Kirk " division retained the old 
church edifice which had been built on the gore in front of 
Alexander McCall's residence. In 1875 the two branches were 
reunited, and the Free Church building on Norfolk Street was- 
sold to the Grangers. In 1884 the present St. Paul's church 
was erected at the cost of $12,000. The first regular pastor of 
the " Auld Kirk " was the Rev. George Bell, and the first " Free 
Church" pastor was the Rev. Andrew Wilson. After the 
reunion the first pastor was the Rev. W. M. McNeil, and the 
present pastor of St. Paul's is the Rev. W. J. Dey, M.A., a 
gentleman of scholarly attainments and winning manners. 

There are eight Presbyterian churches in Norfolk to-day 
under the charge of four pastors, having a total membership of 
about 1,280, and about half that number of communicants. 
These pastoral charges are located as follows : Simcoe ; Port 
Dover and Vittoria ; Lynedoch and Silver Hill ; Delhi, Wind- 
ham and Waterford. 

The Norfolk churches are included in the Hamilton Presby- 
tery, which includes forty-five ministers and sixty-five churches. 



BENJAMIN MEAD was a familiar name among the old 
pioneers of Woodhouse when this old century was new. The 
fine old home of the Meads, located on the old gravel road west 
of Port Dover, has long since passed into strangers' hands, yet 
the place is still referred to as the old Mead homestead. 

Benjamin Mead was the son of Richard Mead, of St. John, 
N.B. He was born in 1774, and when a mere lad was appren- 
ticed to a tanner. When the U. E. Loyalists of the Maritime 
Provinces began a movement for the settling of Upper Canada, 
young Mead, seeing an opportunity of securing a home for 
himself in the new country, bought off his time and fell in 
with the westward march. He came to Long Point about a 
hundred years ago, and secured Lots 8 and 9 in the 1st conces- 
sion of Woodhouse. Subsequently he married a young lady 
who had come to the settlement with the Dedrick family. She 
was of German descent, as also are the Meads. In about 1800 
the parents of Benjamin came to Woodhouse, where they spent 
the remainder of their lives. The court records show that 
Benjamin Mead was a member of the Grand Inquest at the 
spring term of the old Court of Quarter Sessions in 1802, held 
at the house of James Monroe. 

Mr. Mead was prudent, industrious and enterprising. He 
possessed good business abilities, and made money from the 
very beginning of his pioneer experiences. During the first 
decade of the century he built a tannery on his land, which 
was in operation during the war of 1812. When the war 
broke out he enlisted in his country's service, and was captain 


of a company of militia. He had about $4,500 in cash at the 
time, and in order to secure this money in case of possible 
invasions, he buried it in the centre of the public road opposite 
his home. During the McArthur raid the invaders passed his 
place, burning his tannery and dwelling-house on their way. 
Mrs. Mead made an effort to save her household effects, but as 
fast as she carried the goods from the burning home the 
Americans seized them and threw them back into the fire. Mr. 
Mead received no wounds during the war, and there is no 
evidence to show that he took part in any of the principal 
engagements. Just before the war he joined the Tisdale 
brothers in a mercantile adventure at Vittoria. The partners 
in this concern consisted of himself and Samuel, Lot, Joseph 
and Matthew Tisdale. The five deputized three of their 
number to manage the business, Mr. Mead being one of the 
three. The particulars pertaining to the organization of this 
mercantile syndicate are given in sketch, " The Tisdale Brothers' 
Business Combination," and need not be repeated here. It 
appears to have been a short-lived affair, and in the dissolution 
Mr. Mead withdrew his interest in merchandise, taken from the 
general stock, and moved it to his own place, where he started 
a little store of his own. Two or three years after the war he 
and one Stebbins built a schooner and engaged in the carrying 
business. The schooner was named The Elizabeth, in honor of 
Mrs. Mead. 

Mr. Mead was a shrewd business man. He possessed two 
faculties in a marked degree one for making money and the 
other for taking care of it after it was made. Sometimes he 
kept large sums of money secreted on his premises, and on one 
occasion his wife found a considerable sum under a barrel in 
the cellar while engaged in righting up things. After he had 
passed the high meridian of life he joined the Methodist 
Church, and spent the afternoon and evening of his existence 
in the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of his well-earned home 
comforts. In 1824 he was importuned by his many friends to 
accept a nomination as a candidate for parliamentary honors, 


but he positively declined the favor, preferring the quiet of 
private life. He died in 1857, in his 84th year; and Mrs> 
Mead, who was eleven years his junior, died in 1848, in her 
64th year. 

Captain Benjamin Mead had two sons Richard D. and 
George ; and six daughters Catherine, Hannah, Rebecca,. 
Maria, Lucretia and Mary Ann. 

Richard D. Mead, elder son of Benjamin, was born in 1815 r 
married Hannah, daughter of William Henderson, the old 
Charlotteville pioneer, and settled on the eastern portion of the 
Mead homestead. He kept a tavern during the rebellion, and 
in 1839 went to London, where he kept a tavern. Indeed r 
Richard Mead spent the larger portion of his life in the busi- 
ness of tavern-keeping. He returned to the old stand, but 
left it a second time for a hotel in Caledonia. Subsequently 
he kept a hotel in Simcoe, and when he began to feel the- 
weight of accumulated years he quit the hotel business and 
retired to the old homestead, where he lived the remainder of 
his life. Lieut. " Dick " Mead was cut out by nature for the 
business of tavern-keeping. .He was socially inclined, and 
being of a genial nature he knew how to attract and entertain 
his guests. But he did not inherit his father's business 
acumen. When the Hamilton and Port Dover plank road 
was built, he, in company with two or three others, secured a 
contract for clearing off the timber and grading the roadway 
between Port Dover and Jarvis. After the tender was made, 
and before the contract was closed, Mr. Mead submitted the 
figures to his father, who, after making a careful computation, 
informed him that the tender only amounted to fifty cents per 
rod, and that it would ruin them financially if they were 
awarded the contract. They did undertake it, however, and. 
the consequence was Mr. Mead lost his valuable farm. 

During the troublous times of the rebellion, Lieut. Dick 
Mead's tavern was a popular resort for Loyalists. Captain 
Jacob Powell organized a company of light infantry for 
service, and the lieutenancy was reserved for the man who. 


succeeded in raising the largest number of recruits for the 
company. Richard Mead and Lewis Mann were the principal 
aspirants for the position. They furnished a larger number 
than was needed, and each was awarded with the position 
the former as First and the latter as Second Lieutenant. Mr. 
Mead died in 1865, in his 51st year. He had three sons 
John, Richard and Robert ; and two daughters Caroline and 
Miranda. Robert is the present proprietor of the " Mead 
House," Port Dover. 

George Mead, younger son of Benjamin, married Elizabeth 
Wilson, and settled on the homestead. He had three sons 
William, John and Walter ; and two daughters Candace and 
Caroline. This family settled in the States. 

Catherine Mead, eldest daughter of Benjamin, married 
Frederick Gibbs, and settled in Walpole. She had two sons 
Benjamin and William ; and one daughter, Nelly. 

Hannah Mead, the second daughter, married Zeal Welch, and 
settled in the States. She had one son, Benjamin, who married 
Catherine Dedrick, and settled in Walsingham, where he 
raised a family of four sons Abraham, William, Madison and 
James ; and three daughters Harriet, Susan and Jane. Sub- 
sequently Benjamin Welch married Rebecca Jewell, by whom 
he had a second family. 

Rebecca Mead, the third daughter, married Reuben Bacon, 
and settled in Charlotte ville. She had one daughter, Eliza, 
who married Philip Vasbinder. Subsequently Mrs. Bacon 
married John Gifford, of South Cayuga, by whom she had five 
sons Edward, Maxwell, Benjamin, George and Thomas; and 
two daughters Maria and Elizabeth. 

Maria Mead, the fourth daughter, was born in 1809. She 
married Holmes Matthews, of Woodhouse. She died in 1881, 
in her 73rd year. Her children are enumerated in the 
Matthew's genealogy. 

Lucretia Mead, the fifth daughter, married Thomas Walsh. 
Her children are named in the Walsh genealogy. 

Mary Ann Mead, the youngest daughter, married John 


McBride, and settled in Woodhouse. They are both living, 
but there are no children or grandchildren to visit them in their 
beautiful home in Port Dover. They settled in the woods, and 
after clearing up a good Woodhouse farm, came to Port Dover, 
where Mr. McBride engaged in the drug business, and continued 
it for more than a quarter of a century. When he retired from 
business lie sold out to Eobert M. Taylor, who had been his 
faithful clerk for sixteen years. Mr. McBride has been a busy 
man in private life, and also a prominent man in public affairs, 
having served in the municipal councils of his township and 
village, and as a Justice of the Peace. 

Captain Benjamin Mead was one of the foundation builders 
of Norfolk. He raised a family of eight sons and daughters, 
all of whom married, yet the county where he settled a 
hundred years ago contains few of his descendants, and the 
family name has become nearly extinct. The descendants of 
Captain Mead, through the Vasbinders, have reached the 
seventh generation. The captain had a brother, Israel, who 
settled in the States, and the grandchildren of this brother 
have visited their Norfolk relatives. 



IF any one of our old pioneers is entitled to this special 
distinction, it is Daniel Freeman. He came into the wilds of 
the new country with his young wife and two little infant sons 
before the present century had dawned upon the world. He 
came as an ambassador of the Cross, and he spent his life in 
ministering to the spiritual welfare of his fellow pioneers. 
Surely, such a man played a most important part in laying the 
solid foundation upon which our social fabric is built. 

The name of Elder Freeman will ever stand out as one of 
the leading headlights in old Long Point pioneer times. He 
was born in 1769, in New Jersey, and was the elder of the two 
sons of Andrew Freeman. The name of the other son was 
William, who raised a family and died in New Jersey. William's 
grandchildren settled in the State of Michigan. Daniel married 
Phoebe Swazie, in New Jersey, and when their second son was 
two years old^tjiey came to Long Point settlement. This was 
in the year 1800, and just before leaving their New Jersey 
home Mr. Swazie presented his daughter with the Swazie 
family Bible. This choice old* heirloom is at present in posses- 
sion of Miss Phoebe Amelia Freeman, of Windharn. The 
family is of English descent, and remained loyal to the British 
Crown during the troublous times of the war of the Revolution. 

Elder Freeman was thirty-one years old when he came to 
the new country. He drew Lot 24, 4th concession of Charlotte- 
ville from Government, and here he erected one of Norfolk's 
first and purest Christian family altars. He was a zealous 
Methodist, and to him is ascribed the honor of gathering the 
nucleus of Norfolk's first Methodist society. He was the 


leading spirit in the building of the first church edifice in the 
old Woodhouse cemetery grounds, and all this had been accom- 
plished by him before he had been in the settlement two years. 
The old cemetery is sacred ground. In its soil are incorporated 
the ashes of a large number of the old pioneers and a mighty 
host of their descendants, and one historical fact connected 
with this old burying-ground, of no slight importance, is that 
the first grave dug in it was for little Mary Swazie Freeman, 
the first-born child in Elder Freeman's Charlotteville home. 

The old circuit-riders of London District " fought a good 
fight," which would have been impossible had they not " kept 
the faith " ; and if any one class of men be more entitled to " a 
crown in glory " than another, surely it is these pioneer mis- 
sionaries of the Gospel. Elder Freeman spent the larger por- 
tion of his Canadian life in the forests between the Niagara 
and Detroit rivers. No man could endure the hardships and 
withstand the privations that fell to the lot of these men, if he 
were not endowed with a good constitution and exercised an 
implicit faith in that " Father who careth for His children." 
Elder Freeman was blessed with a fair constitution, but the 
fording of rivers and the constant exposure to the inclemency 
of the weather broke down his health while yet in the prime 
of life. It is said that the first Protestant evangelical sermon 
preached in the city of Detroit was delivered by Elder Freeman. 
He died in 1835, in his 67th year. 

The old record of the courts held at the house of James 
Monroe, shows that on the 31st of January, 1801, Elder Freeman 
applied for a license to marry, and that the court refused his 
petition. At this early time licenses to marry were withheld 
from dissenting ministers of the Gospel, and much hard feeling 
was caused thereby. 

Rev. Daniel Freeman had five sons John Ogden, Joseph, 
William Gilbert, Daniel Wesley and Isaac Swazie; and four 
daughters Mary Swazie, Mary Ann, Amelia and Phoebe 

John 0. Freeman, the eldest son, was born in 1796, in New 
Jersey. He married Mary Moore, and settled on Black Creek, 


Woodhouse, where he built and operated a sawmill. He died 
in 1 850, in his 53rd year. He had one son, Daniel ; and two 
daughters Mehitabel and Mary. 

Joseph Freeman, and his brother William G., died in 

Daniel Wesley Freeman, fourth son of Rev. Daniel, was 
born in 1807. He married Isabella, daughter of Rev. John 
Bailey, and, on Lot 4, 10th concession of W 7 indham, he 
established one of the finest rural homes in the county. D. W. 
Freeman was one of Norfolk's most distinguished citizens. He 


was educated at Cazenovia, New York, and from the time he 
left college to the time of his death, he was identified in some 
way, with the educational interests of his township. There is 
not a man in Windham who has seen fifty years, and whose 
school days were spent in the old schools of that township, that 
does not remember with pleasure the periodical visits of the old 
Superintendent. His dignified geniality brought out our best 
behaviour and commanded our unqualified respect. He encour- 
aged us in our youthful aspirations, and spoke words of appro- 
bation and sympathy to us ; and, somehow, each time the old 
Superintendent bade us a kind adieu, we felt there was a place 
of usefulness awaiting each of us somewhere in the great, wide 

When D. W T . Freeman was but a lad of eighteen, the respon- 
sibilities of a Sunday School Superintendent were placed upon 
his young shoulders, and from that time to the close of his 
busy life he held the position. He was a most exemplary 
young man, as evidenced by the fact that he superintended the 
Sunday School work for nine years previous to his marriage. 
He commenced at the bottom round of the ladder as a school 
teacher, and thus qualified himself, by a practical experience, 
for a successful performance of the duties of a superintendent. 

D. W. Freeman was a busy man. He was a model farmer 
himself, and was deeply interested in the agricultural interests 
of the county serving, for many years, as Secretary of the 
County Agricultural Society. He was a Justice of the Peace, 
and performed the duties of a general conveyancer; and in 


addition to all his other duties, he served for many years as 
Clerk of the Division Court of his township. When his busy 
life came to a close his remains were followed to the tomb by a 
host of sorrowing friends ; and a place was made vacant that 
few men are able to fill. Daniel Wesley Freeman had six sons 
John Bailey, Daniel, William, Francis Wesley, Charles 
Edwin and Isaac Wilbur ; and four daughters Phoebe Amelia, 
Henrietta Jane, Mary Emma and Rachel Isabella. JOHN 
BAILEY married Jane Scatchard, and succeeded to the old 
homestead. He was a model farmer and a most exemplary 
citizen. He represented the North Riding of Norfolk in the 
Provincial Parliament for twelve consecutive years, gaining in 
popularity during the whole time. His public career was cut 
short by his untimely death, which occurred November 22nd, 
1890. The name of John Bailey Freeman will always occupy 
a prominent place among the distinguished sons of Windham's 
old rural homesteads. 

Mary Ann Freeman, second daughter of Rev. Daniel, 
married into the Beemer family, and settled at Stony Creek. 
She had a son, Daniel, who studied medicine, and settled in 
New Orleans ; and a daughter, Phoebe. 

Amelia Freeman, the third daughter, married Rev. Edwy M. 
Ryerson, and died young, leaving no children. 

Phoebe Almena Freeman, the fourth daughter, married Rev. 
Edwy M. Ryerson as his second wife. She had one daughter, 
Josephine, who married a lawyer named Fitzgerald, of Ottawa. 

Isaac Swazie Freeman, youngest son and last born child of 
Rev. Daniel, was born in 1814. He married Mary Bradley and 
settled near Vittoria, where he operated one of Norfolk's first 
carding and fulling mills. He had three sons Lewis, John 
and Edgar, and one 'daughter, Mary. JOHN settled in South 
Carolina, and Edgar settled in Illinois. Isaac S. Freeman died 
in 1863, in his 50th year. 

There are no Freemans of the second generation, and very 
few of the third generation, in Norfolk. Miss Phoebe Amelia, 
eldest daughter of the old Superintendent, and Mrs. John B. 
Freeman, occupy the fine old Windham home at present. 



IN the days of our grandfathers the " furnace " was a place 
of great importance. It was a busy place where a large number 
of moulders, patternmakers and other workmen were employed 
in manufacturing all kinds of stoves at that time in use, iron 
pots, kettles, smoothing irons, sleigh-shoes, ploughs, pails, bar- 
iron for all sorts of purposes, and numerous other articles. 
The buzz of industry continued day and night, and the furnace 
fires were kept in a white glow. It was christened Port 
Normandale in honor of its proprietors, the Van Normans, and 
it was the principal trade emporium in old Long Point settle- 
ment when the site of Chicago presented nothing but prairie 
mud and the wild Indian's wigwam. 

In the early days of the settlement Noah Fairchild made 
the discovery that certain boggy sections contained peroxide 
of iron, and he always declared that it existed in paying 
quantities, and that a little capital only was needed to convert 
the ore into useful utensils. Finally, in 1818, Mr. Fairchild 
drew the attention of one Samuel Mason, an Englishman 
possessing some experience in the handling of iron ore, to the 
fact that Charlotte ville contained large quantities of bog ore ; 
and, after making an investigation, Mr. Mason resolved to 
build a furnace. Government land patents at this time 
reserved all mines, minerals and white pine timber. The bog 
ore, therefore, belonged to the Government, and the first move 
made by Mason was to secure a Government permit to make 
use of it. The permission was granted without stint or limit. 
At this time one Samuel Long owned a pottery at the mouth 


of the creek on the lake shore, which had been in operation 
about eight years. Mason selected this place for the location 
of his furnace, and he purchased the lot and Long's interests, 
accordingly. The first work undertaken by Mason was to 
change the course of the creek and build a proper sluice way. 
He was a hard worker and possessed a rude, coarse nature ; 
and while engaged in this preliminary work had no use for hat 
or pantaloons. On one occasion the Governor of Upper 
Canada, while visiting Fort Norfolk, expressed a desire to 
interview the English capitalist who proposed to develop the 
bog mines of Norfolk, and Colonel Salmon and John Harris 
were deputized to present His Excellency to the distinguished 
ditch digger. Mason was found at work, bare-headed and up 
to his knees in mud. Being quite unpresentable, the Colonel 
advised him to put on his " trousers," but Mason could not see 
any necessity for taking this extra trouble, and he declared 
that he would not " put on his breeks" for the Governor or any 
other man. 

For some reason Mason did not carry his plans to a suc- 
cessful issue. In about 1822 his interest was transferred to 
Joseph Van Norman and George Tillson, and Hiram Capron, of 
Rochester, assumed the management of the business. 

Mr. Tillson withdrew from the business in 1825 and 
established a forge on the Otter creek, known as the " Dere- 
ham Forge." This forge was the germ from which has 
developed the present neat and prosperous town of Tilsonburg. 
When George Tillson built the first home at this place there 
were only six settlers in the entire township. The Tillsons 
and Van Normans were related by marriage, and were noted 
for their generosity and business enterprise. Indeed, the 
secret of Tilsonburg's growth and business prosperity may be 
attributed, in no small degree, to the enterprising spirit of 
E. D. Tillson, son of George, the old pioneer. 

Mr. Capron withdrew from the old Normandale business 
simultaneously with Mr. Tillson, and from this time on the 
works were controlled by the Messrs. Van Norman Joseph and 


Benjamin. They possessed ample capital, and the business 
was rapidly developed. Previous to this Normandale was 
known as " Potter's Creek," so named on account of Long's 
pottery. In 1829 the Van Normans placed the management 
in the hands of Elijah Leonard and his son Louis, who were 
expert American iron- work ers ; and during the ten years 
following, the volume of business transacted at Normandale 
was immense and exceedingly profitable. The ore was abso- 
lutely free, and it was near by and easy of access. It was 
hauled from the bogs to the furnace in the winter time by 
farmers, at a cost of from $2.50 to $3.00 per ton, in trade; 
and as the Company had no competition, they fixed their 
prices and regulated their margins of profit to suit themselves. 
Notwithstanding this fact, the business was a good thing for 
the settlers. It furnished them employment in the winter 
time, and by this outside means they were enabled to procure 
their supplies, although the prices charged were exorbitant. 
A large force of men were employed at the works, and this 
made a home market for much of the settlers' produce. The 
enormous consumption of charcoal at the furnace proved 
another source of profit to the settlers, as it devolved upon 
them to furnish the needed supply. The burning of charcoal 
pits enabled more than one settler in those days to pay for his 
land, and, at the same time, get rid of the timber which was 
an impediment possessing no commercial value. Twenty -five 
cords of wood made one thousand bushels of charcoal, worth 
$50 ; and when it is remembered that this work was done at 
times when the work of the farm did not command attention, 
this advantage to the settler will be readily seen. 

In 1840 the furnace had reached the zenith of its prosperity. 
It is said that the Van Normans at this time were worth 
$100,000, but the wondrous prosperity which crowned their 
efforts at Normandale turned their heads. The Leonards had 
started business for themselves in St. Thomas, and the 
Van Normans ventured too much on their own knowledge of 
bog ore, and this led them into difficulties which caused their 


ruin. They determined to duplicate their Normandale works 
at Marmora, but they miscalculated on the nature of the ore 
at that place, and the adventure crippled them financially. 
The Normandale business suffered a decline from which it 
never recovered, and about the year 1852 it ceased to exist. 

The bog ore in Norfolk was by no means exhausted. Con- 
siderable quantities of it were found in Houghton, of which a 
small portion only had been taken. The first Charlotteville 
ore was taken from Lot 11, in the 7th concession ; and after 
the most prolific beds in this township had given up their 
treasure the township of Wmdham was entered and a consider- 
able supply taken from the vicinity of Nixon. The Van Nor- 
mans operated a branch forge in Doaii's Hollow, where they 
manufactured axes and other articles. There was a forge also 
in Lynn Valley operated by the Austins. 

The bog ore of Norfolk yielded from forty to sixty pounds 
of iron from one hundred pounds of ore, the average being 
about fifty pounds. When the original test was made a bar of 
iron was made of the sample, being about a foot in length, 
which was kept in the Fairchild family for many years as a 
keepsake. The Norfolk ore was of a superior quality, con- 
taining percentages of silver and lead which made the iron 
more malleable. It is said that a stranger once visited the 
furnace and obtained permission to experiment with a quan- 
tity of melted iron. With the aid of certain instruments and 
chemicals he extracted the silver and lead from the mass, and 
the iron thus treated was so brittle that it could not be used 
for the purpose intended, and the enterprising stranger was 
relieved from further duty. 

There is something very peculiar about this bog iron ore. 
It is a formation, a something that grows, and its value depends 
quite largely upon its age. It is a hydrated peroxide of iron, 
found only in wet, springy bogs. It begins to form at the 
head of a stream, and its growth, or formation, is caused by 
the action of the water in forcing the iron rust through the 
lower-lying bogs. Sometimes this ore forms on the bottom of 


the lake, as evidenced by quantities of it being washed ashore. 
Just what this substance is, that is thus converted into iron, 
has often been a subject of discussion, but Ehrenberg, the 
eminent German naturalist, determined that it proceeds from 
the shields of animalcules, and it was, his opinion that the 
mineral itself is composed of incalculable multitudes of these 
shields. This is a most reasonable theory, as the alluvial soils, 
bogs and lake bottoms where bog ore abounds, are literally 
alive with animalcula. A gentleman from Hamilton was in 
Charlotteville quite recently prospecting among the -old bog 
ore beds in view of making shipments to that city, but the 
result of his investigation was not ascertained. 

Elijah Leonard, the iron-worker employed in 1829 to 
superintend the Normandale works, was no less a personage 
than the veteran old Senator, the Hon. Elijah Leonard, of 
London, and head of the well-known firm of E. Leonard & 
Sons. Frank E. Leonard, Esq., one of the sons, who was a 
member of the first London Aldermanic Board, and who was 
elected Mayor of the city in 1857, learned the trade of mould- 
ing, as did also his brother Lyman, in the old Normandale 
furnace. Their brother Louis clerked in the Messrs. Van Nor- 
man's store at the same time. - From a published autobiography 
of the Leonard family, under the head, " Primitive Iron 
Foundry," the following extracts are taken : 

" We lived on the east bluff in a frame house, on a lot owned 
for many years by Mr. Tolmie, but the building has long since 
disappeared. The furnace consisted of a brick stack or 
chimney, about thirty feet high and five feet " bosh," built on 
the side of the hill. Motive power was obtained from the fine 
stream of water running through the village, which kept in 
motion an overshot wheel about fourteen feet in diameter, that 
in turn drove a double piston bellows by means of cranks. 
Only one tuyere was employed to admit the blast. My father 
(the Hon. Senator) had charge of the works, and directed the 
mixing of ore and charcoal in the top house. The material 
was dumped into the furnace by barrows, and the iron, when 


melted, ran doAvn into a hearth about two feet wide and five 
feet long. Into this receptacle we dipped our ladles and carried 
off' the product direct to the flasks. When in full blast we 
took off two heats in twenty-four hours. At this time Nor- 
mahdale was a thriving place, the furnace requiring about 
four hundred men directly and indirectly getting out and 
teaming ore, burning charcoal, working about the furnace, and 
attending to the mercantile part of the establishment. The 
site of the furnace can yet be located, but in place of smoke, 
and glare, and heat, and the throb of the bellows, all is quiet 
save the murmur of the ever-running stream. A vegetable 
garden takes the place of the top house, and the side hill is 
covered by a goodly sized orchard." 



AMONG the old people of Norfolk who are living in this- 
year of grace, 1897, there is only one here and one there who 
lived in Long Point settlement previous to the war of 1812, 
and who was old enough to have a distinct remembrance of 
the events immediately preceding and leading up to the 
declaration of that war. Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis is one of the 
very few who have thus been blessed with a long lease of life. 
If she sees the close of the present year she will have entered 
her 94th year, and her mental faculties are apparently unim- 
paired. Born in 1804, she came to Long Point settlement 
when she was about seven years old, and for the past eighty- 
six years she has witnessed the wonderful growth and develop- 
ment of her adopted country. The following is the story of 
her life as told by herself : 

" I'm almost ninety-three years old, an' for the past seventy- 
one years I've lived right here in this house. My ! my ! since 
I came here with my parents in 1811 there have been great 
changes. My father's name was Marks Barrett. He was a 
Pennsylvania Dutchman, and, during the war of the Revolu- 
tion, he was a British Loyalist ; but he didn't come to Canada in 
time to secure a U. E. Loyalist grant o' land. I was about seven 
years old when we moved to Canada, and I remember that we 
stopped at a settler's house for bread and butter. Father made 
known our wants in English, and the settler refused to grant 
the request ; but when father spoke in Dutch, the settler, who 
was a Dutchman, made us all come in and eat dinner with 'em, 


and he gave us supplies and wouldn't accept pay for 'em. I 
tell you the Dutch people are aw r ful kind to each other. My 
father settled near here and died quite a young man. When I 
was a girl I used to work out and spin. I did a job o' spinnin' 
for Joseph Kitchen's folks down in Charlotte ville, and we had 
lots o' fun. Hannah Gilbert, who afterwards married James 
Haze, was there helpin' in the spinnin', and when we got our 
day's work off we used to go after wild strawberries. Mr. 
Kitchen was full o' mischief, and he tried to scare us with 
rattlesnake stories. We thought he was only foolin', but one 
day he threw a snake with seventeen rattles, on it right 
through the window, and it caught on the spindle o' my wheel. 
While I worked there I used to go over to Billy Smith's place, 
on the next farm, and wrestle with Fanny, his wife. My ! my ! 
the girls enjoyed themselves in them days. Nowadays pride 
has turned everything to vanity, and young people know 
nothing about the real pleasures o' life. 

" I married James Ellis, a son of Cornwall Ellis, who 
came from the Susquehannah Valley to this country about 
ninety-five years ago, and took up this lot of two hundred 
acres. Right out there in the bay where them boats are 
anchored, Cornwall Ellis planted an orchard. From the end of 
the pier away around here to the west it was hard, dry ground 
then, and many a bushel of peaches I picked in that orchard 
after I was married. My husband got the east half and his 
brother the west half of the lot. Port Rowan was built on our 
lot and the Wolven lot which joined it on the east. Cornwall 
Ellis was a great hunter and trapper. 

" William Finch's wife was my sister, and I was down there 
when the Americans burned their mill in the war of 1812. 
My, but them Kentucky soldiers were big, swarthy-looking 
fellows. When they sacked Port Dover a Mrs. Steele, a friend 
o' mine, refused to let 'em enter her house. She had packed 
a basketful of choice crockery, for safe-keepin', and when she 
began to sass the Yankees one of J ern jumped into the basket 
and smashed all the crockery, and then it was awful the way 
Mrs. Steele cussed and swore. 


" I've been a member of the Baptist Church in Port Rowan 
sixty- eight years. I was a convert at the time of the great 
revival here. When Elder William McDermand commenced 
his wonderful work here, there were only two Baptists in the 
neighborhood Deacon Michael Troyer and Mrs. John Kill- 
master. The meetin's were held in our barn, and hundreds 
were unable to get inside. It was a mighty reformation. The 
work accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord was miraculous. 
Every one was under conviction, and it seemed as though nearly 
every one was converted. Night after night, and all night 
long the air was filled with the melody of human voices singin' 
praises to God. There was one family who kept away from 
the meetin's. The father of this family was a drunkard and a 
very wicked man. An extra effort was made to save this man. 
Elder McDermand appointed a prayer ineetin' at the man's 
home, and requested a number of us to attend. We did so, and 
the elder attempted to lead in prayer, but he was speechless ; 
he then tried to read a hyrnn, and once again he tried to pray 
but it was no use. At last he give up, and announced that the 
Lord refused to give him utterance. Shortly after that the 
man died, in what condition God only knows. The old people 
refer to this copious out-pouring of the Spirit as the great 
reformation in Port Rowan. The influences of this great 
revival were felt for twenty years. It commenced with a mere 
handful, and before it ended 240 sat down to the communion 

" Before I was married the soldiers used to train near our 
house, just east of Port Rowan, and I used to see 'em whipped 
for goin' to the village and gettin' drunk, as they sometimes 
did. I never forgot the land o' my birth, and one time durin' 
the rebellion Colonel Burwell requested me to cook breakfast 
for a number of his soldiers. I told 'im I wouldn't do it, as the 
Queen was abundantly able to take care of her own soldiers. 

" I shall never forget that shower of meteors it happened 
nearly seventy years ago. It was about eleven o'clock at night 
when I woke up and saw it. It shown brightly through the 


windows an' lit up the room. I went outside an' the air seemed 
completely filled with fallin' stars ; they came right down all 
about me, an' I put out my hands and tried to catch some of 
'em. They seemed to fall at my feet and I tried to pick 'em 
up. The shower continued for some time. Some thought the 
world was comin' to an end, but it always seemed to me that 
it was a harbinger of the great reformation that followed so 
soon after in Port Rowan. 

"In 1813 there was a tavern here kept by a man named 
Cooper, and one store kept by a man named Burnham. Besides 
these two buildings, there were probably four or five other 
houses. At that time an American, by the name of Dickson, 
was engaged in smugglin' goods from the other side into this 
port. George Ryerson came up here one day with six soldiers 
to arrest Dickson an' confiscate his goods. The boat lay down 
there in the bay in plain sight of the house here, an' when 
Ryerson arrived he an' Dickson had a fight. Dickson finally 
surrendered, an' Ryerson put the soldiers on board the boat an' 
told 'em to sail into Port Dover with the prisoners and cargo. 
When they sailed away the cargo was secreted in the marsh, 
an' Dickson, soldiers and all, headed for the Land o' the Free 
an' never showed up again on this side. 

" My ! how we used to suffer here with the mosquitoes. In 
my early married life I've walked up an' down the road with 
my baby in my arms to keep it from bein' devoured, body an' 
soul, by the mosquitoes. It seems like a big story to tell, but 
I've seen a solid mass of mosquitoes all over my old out-door 
oven more 'an two inches thick." 

Marks Barrett had three sons and five daughters. His sons 
Philip, Marks and Henry all settled west of Big Creek. 
Elizabeth Barrett, the subject of this sketch, was one of the 
five daughters of Marks Barrett. She was the mother of four- 
teen children, ten of whom five sons and five daughters 
grew up and married, except Caroline, the eldest, who remained 
single, and lives with and cares for her aged mother. 

John Anderson, the eldest son of Mrs. Ellis, lives in Port 


Rowan, and is a grape wine manufacturer of good repute, 
being the owner of two fine vineyards. John was an expert 
hunter and trapper in former days the days when Edward 
Foster was a terror to the beasts of the marshes and thickets, 
the birds of the air and the finny tribes that inhabit the waters. 
If there is anything that John Anderson likes, it is to sit down 
at the close of a hard days work never before and relate his 
hunting and trapping experiences. 

Joseph Ellis, the second son, married Sarah Anderson. They 
live in Port Rowan. 

Aaron Ellis, the third son, married Jennie Bauck, and 
settled in Walsingham. 

Daniel Ellis, the fourth son, married Naoma Stone, and 
settled in Walsingham. 

William Ellis, the fifth son, married Margaret Holmes, and 
settled in Walsingham. 

The four daughters who married were Matilda, Mary, Eliza- 
beth and Ellen. They married, respectively, Abraham Country- 
man, William McCallum, John Elisha and Thomas Cowan. 
Elisha and Cowan settled in the States ; the others settled in 



THE Jewell family came to Long Point with the Oaks family 
in the early dawn of the century. The pioneer head of the 
Jewell family, Ezekiel, was a brother-in-law of the Oaks 
brothers, and all came from the same neighborhood in the 
Province of New Brunswick. Ezekiel Jewell settled on 200 of 
the 2,500,000 acres of Crown Lands, which were set apart by the 
Constitutional Act of 1791 for the support of a Protestant clergy. 
This Lot was No. 13, 1st concession of Charlotte ville, and the 
terms of occupancy were as follows: Seven dollars per annum for 
the first seven years, fourteen dollars for the second seven, and 
twenty-one dollars for the third seven years. It was a leasehold 
for twenty-one years with a pre-emptory right to purchase at 
the end of the tenure ; or, in case of a non-desire to purchase, 
a vested right, which was transferable to a would-be purchaser 
for a consideration based upon the value of the tenant's 
improvements and the natural advantages of the land. One- 
seventh of all the Crown Lands in the new province were thus 
tied up, thereby impeding materially the development of the 
new country. Settlers would not go upon these lands as 
tenants of the Crown while desirable lands might be purchased 
cheaply, and the result was that for many years these numer- 
ously scattered tracts of wild unimproved lands lay upon the 
face of the settlements, marring and disfiguring them like ugly 
festering blotches on the otherwise fair young face of a child. 
And not only as eye-sores did they exist, but they added to 
the burdens of the settlers by preventing that neighborly touch 
or contiguity in settlement that makes possible a minimum 


expense in the construction of public roads, the support 
of Public Schools, and in the enjoyment of various social 

Ezekiel Jewell was known in the settlement as a quiet, 
unostentatious, good-natured and peace-loving man. He was 
loyal to his country, warmly attached to his home, and well 
disposed in all his intercourse with his neighbors. Mrs. Jewell's 
maiden name was Freelove Oaks. They had six sons James, 
Ezekiel, Reuben, William, Thomas and Abraham ; and three 
daughters Jane, Rebecca and Elizabeth. With the exception 
of Abraham, their children were all born in New Brunswick. 
The father died in about 1830, on the lot he had chosen for a 

James Jewell, the eldest son, was one of the noble sons of 
Young Upper Canada that so signally distinguished themselves- 
in the war of 1812 for their sterling patriotism, their intrepid 
courage, and their marvellous efficiency as undisciplined soldiers- 
on the field of battle. The story of 1812 contains enough 
martial glory, as it is rehearsed in our Public Schools, to inspire 
" Young Canada " with the spirit of national patriotism. Is 
there a boy in all this fair and prosperous land of ours, so 
stupid and utterly devoid of noble impulses, as not to be 
thrilled with patriotic emotions as he reads of what his great- 
grandsires did at Queenston Heights, at Frenchtown, at Stony 
Creek, at Beaver Dams, at Chrysler's Farm, at Chateauguay, at 
Lacolle and at Lundy's Lane ? Surely if " Young Canada " 
ever displays a lack-lustre devotion to country, the fault will 
not lie in a dearth of wholesome nourishment. 

James Jewell enlisted as a volunteer in Captain Abraham 
A. Rapelje's company of " Incorporates," as the old settlers 
term it. Jewell's company was with General Riall when he 
retreated to Lundy's Lane, after the repulse at Chippewa. On 
that memorable July 24th, 2,000 Canadians stubbornly resisted 
an attack of 4,000 Americans under Generals Brown, Ripley 
and Scott. Let us recall this unequal struggle to our minds. 
Slowly the smaller body yield their ground ; inch by inch they 


fall back overwhelmned by double their own force. Who is 
that private in Rapelje's company who has thrown down his 
musket and is pelting the invader with gravel stones ? It is 
James Jewell, of Norfolk. His musket has been discharged so 
rapidly it has become too hot to handle, and he has thrown it 
aside ! He cannot wait for it to cool, and so he fights the 
enemy with such weapons as are at hand ! Five o'clock 
arrives and the few are giving way to the many, and Chippewa 
is about to be repeated. But, hark ! What martial music is 
that heard in the distance ? A glad shout goes up above 
Niagara's awful roar, and the fiery steed of General Drummond 
comes snorting and prancing along the river road followed by 
800 men, brave and true. Riall's men are faced about, and 2,800 
loyal defenders of British-Canadian homes grapple with 4,000 
American invaders in an embrace of death that continues until 
midnight, and which virtually terminates the war and immor- 
talizes our noble old grandsires and their handful of redcoat 
and Indian allies. 

James Jewell drew one hundred acres of land in York 
county for his war services. He never married. 

Ezekiel Jewell, second son of Ezekiel, and his brother 
Reuben, settled in the States. 

William Jewell, fourth son of Ezekiel, married Cynthia 
Rapelje, and settled in Charlotteville, near the present Walsh 
station. He had four sons Thomas, Henry, Abraham and 
John; and six daughters Matilda, Helen, Adelaide, Rebecca 
Ann, Jane and Cynthia. 

Thomas Jewell, fifth son of Ezekiel, died single. 

Abraham Jewell, youngest son of Ezekiel, married Jane 
Oaks, and settled on the homestead. He had four sons 
Ezekiel, George, William and John; and three daughters 
Freelove, Emmar and Rebecca. 

Jane Jewell, eldest daughter of Ezekiel, died single. 

Rebecca Jewell, the second daughter, married Michael Forse, 
and settled near Vittoria. 

Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Ezekiel, married Jacob 



One of the most promi- 
nent characters among the 
old settlers was Deacon 
Joseph Kitchen. He was 
noted for his uprightness 
of character ; his off-hand, 
square-toed "Yes"-and- 
" No" way of doing business ; 
his fearless independence 
in thought and action, and 
his powerful physique. Mr. 
Kitchen was not a U. E. 
Loyalist. He was born in 
Newton, Sussex County, 
New Jersey, and came into 
the world a little too late 
to take part on either sid e 

when the big family quarrel broke out. He did not behold the 
light of day until after peace had been established, and when 
the first fracas did occur after he was big enough to fight, 
which happened in 1812, he was one of the first men in his 
neighborhood to offer his services in fighting the Yankees. 

He served his adopted country during that war, and was 
sergeant of his company. He was under Captain McCall at the 
notorious battle of " The Foot Race," and it is said his company 
was the last to break ranks and run. While stationed at 



Burlington Heights, Colonel Hamilton sent him west with an 
important despatch, and while pursuing his way through a 
lonely stretch of woods, two Indians sprang out from a thicket 
and caught the bridle of his horse. One of them had a gun, 
and, as quick as a flash, he pointed it at Sergeant Kitchen's 
face and ordered him to dismount. Leaning over as though 
about to comply, he quickly drew his sword from the opposite 
side, and, knocking the muzzle of the musket upward, which 
sent the discharge over his head, he dealt the Indian a powerful 
blow, with the intention of splitting his head. He struck a 
little to one side, burying the sword in the Indian's shoulder, 
directly under his right ear ; and such was the force of the 
blow that he was unable to retain his weapon, and when the 
Indian fell, it went with him. The other Indian had no gun, 
and when his companion fell he ran into the woods. 

Richard Lanning, who had previously settled on Lot 16, 5th 
concession of Charlotteville, and Mr. Kitchen, were warm 
friends. Mr. Lanning came from New Jersey also ; and 
when he was leaving he called at the tannery in Newton, where 
Mr. Kitchen worked, to bid him good-bye. Lanning was a 
religious man, and at this parting interview he beseeched his 
friend to repent of his evil ways and become a Christian. 
Young Kitchen's mind was deeply impressed with the earnest 
solicitude which his friend, Lanning, manifested for his soul's 
welfare, and shortly afterwards he " experienced religion." 
After his conversion his joy knew no bounds. He had been a 
wild young man, and it seemed as though he must take his 
friend Lanning by the hand and tell him the good news ; but 
his friend was in the wilderness of Upper Canada, 500 miles 
away. The longer he lingered, however, the stronger the 
impulse became to go to him, until at last he packed his knap- 
sack with all his earthly belongings and, strapping it on his 
back, started off through the forest on his long pilgrimage on 
foot. He followed the Hudson River as far as Albany, and 
then took a westerly course, reaching the shore of Lake Ontario 
back of Rochester, which, at that time, contained only three 


houses. Following the lake shore a short distance he crossed to 
the Niagara River, and came up the shore of Lake Erie to the 
" Town of Charlotteville" Turkey Point. 

His experiences during this long journey, alone and on foot y 
if written, would make an intensely interesting tale. He was 
lengthy of limb and possessed great powers of physical endur- 
ance ; and as incredible as it may appear, this young pioneer 
athlete averaged fifty miles per day in making this journey. 
When night overtook him, he would lay down on the beach, or 
wherever he might be, using his knapsack for a pillow. He 
was greatly annoyed by the wolves, and was several times- 
attacked by them. 

When Mr. Kitchen reached his friend Lanning's house, the 
meeting between the two old friends may be imagined much 
better than it can be described. Mr. Kitchen's conversion had 
not been a sudden transition " from darkness to light," which 
so many of the old-fashioned Christians experienced. It had 
been a gradual process, and was quite too " rational " for the 
times. After explaining its nature to his friend, Lanning 
exclaimed in utter astonishment : " What ! Why, Jo, you don't 
know anything about religion ! True conversion is jist like 
poppin' out of a tar barrel into the blazin' light of the noon- 
day's sun ! " This was very discouraging to the young convert, 
who had walked 500 miles, enduring so many hardships, just to- 
tell his friend that he had been converted. In fact, the disap- 
pointment was so keenly felt, that for years afterwards he 
doubted whether he had ever been converted. 

If it was not a political motive that brought Joseph Kitchen 
into Upper Canada, as was the case with many of his U. E. 
Loyalist neighbors, it certainly was a religious motive that 
brought him here. He was pleased with the country while 
making his visit, and he resolved to settle here. After looking 
about a little, he finally settled on Lot 20; 6th concession of Char- 
lotteville. The Shearers, McCalls, Tisdales and others had 
previously settled in the immediate neighborhood, and thus he 
had neighbors in the start. He was a tanner by trade, and after 


making a beginning he built a tannery and operated it for a 
number of years. The tanning business proved very remunera- 
tive, and put its owner on the highway to prosperity. 

Many tales are told of the wonderful feats of strength per- 
formed by Mr. Kitchen during his younger days. It is said 
that he once undertook the splitting of a thousand rails in a 
day, on a wager. He split 700 in the forenoon, and having cut 
his foot, was unable to work in the afternoon, thereby losing 
the wager. He was the champion mower of the township. 
On one occasion a so-called expert mower came along and chal- 
lenged Kitchen for a mowing contest. Mr. Kitchen looked him 
over, and then offered a wager that he could mow on his knees 
And beat him across the field. The wager was accepted, and 
Kitchen w r on. 

In his younger days, " Jo " Kitchen was a pugilist of no 
small renown, as more than one meddlesome, conceited settler 
had occasion to remember. One winter he and James Haze 
took some truck to Hamilton to sell, and a very funny thing 
happened while returning. Mr. Kitchen was lying in the 
bottom of the sleigh-box and Haze was driving. Some dis- 
tance west of Ancaster they came up to a man on foot, who 
asked for a ride. Seating himself by the side of the driver, a 
conversation at once sprang up between them, and -learning 
where they were from, the stranger said : 

" There's a d - Yankee up there in that Long Point settle- 
ment somewhere, named Jo Kitchen," and then he asked Haze 
if he knew him. 

" Oh, yes," replied Haze, " I'm w r ell acquainted with him." 

" Well," continued the incautious stranger, " He thinks he's 
a great fighter cos he licked a brother o' mine once ; but if I 
ever set eyes on the Yankee galoot, I'll lick the tar out of him." 

Quick as a flash Kitchen sprang up and caught the stranger 
in his powerful arms and threw him head-first into a snowbank, 
exclaiming, as he did so : 

" I'm that d Yankee galoot your're talkin' about ; what 

more do ' ye want ? ' ' 


The team was going at a brisk trot, and shouting " whoa,"" 
he sprang out of the sleigh, but the stranger did not stay to* 
even say " thank you " for the ride if he ever ran for his life 
it was on that very occasion. 

Mr. Kitchen was peacefully inclined, and never " picked a, 
quarrel." It was only when some bully showed a disposition to* 
step on him, or shove him into a corner, that he demonstrated 
his ability to take care of himself. He was a singing school 
master of " ye olden times," and he kept his voice remarkably 
well up to the time of his death. Deacon Kitchen was a pillar 
of strength in the old Baptist church in Vittoria, and when he 
died there was a broken pillar in his church, and a vacancy 
created in the community in which he lived that very few 
men, indeed, are able to fill. 

Deacon Kitchen married Miriam Barber in 1809, who bore 
him twelve children. Three died in childhood, and one, Hannah,, 
grew into womanhood, and died single. Of the eight who 
married, two were sons John and Egbert M. ; and six were 
daughters Charity, Jane, Mary Ann, Ruth, Cynthia and 
Martha. The old pioneer died in 1868, in his 82nd year, and 
his wife survived him seven years, dying in 1875, in her 83rd 

John Kitchen, the eldest son, married Rebecca, daughter of 
Abraham Smith, of Charlotte ville, and settled on Lot 22, llth 
concession of Windham, being one of the pioneers of that 
township. He had two daughters Rozena and Cynthia, 
Both are married, and living. The old people are both living. 

Egbert M. Kitchen, the youngest son and last born child, mar- 
ried Abigail Weir, and succeeded to the old homestead. He had 
three sons Richard, Joseph and William ; and one daughter, 
Maude. The eldest died in childhood, and the others remain 
single. Both father and mother are living. 

Charity Kitchen, the eldest daughter, married Michael 
Segar, and settled in London. She had one daughter, Frankie, 
who died single. Father and mother are both dead. 

Jane Kitchen, the second daughter, married George 


McMichael, of Townsend. She had two sons Joseph K. and 
Oscar ; and one daughter, Melinda. Joseph K. succeeded to the 
homestead. The other children, together with the father and 
mother, are all dead. 

Mary Ann Kitchen, the third daughter, married William L. 
Sovereign, and settled at Fredericksburg. She had three sons 
Albert, Frederick and Job ; and three daughters Tamson, 
Hannah and Miriam. Frederick, Job and Tamson, and the 
father and mother, are dead. 

Ruth Kitchen, the fourth daughter, married Albert Trehune, 
who settled on Lot 19, 6th concession of Charlotte ville. She 
had three sons Gilliam, Joseph and Edwin ; and one daughter, 
Cynthia. Both father and mother, the eldest son, and the 
daughter, are dead. 

Cynthia Kitchen, the fifth daughter, married Joel W. Owen, 
of Yittoria, and had one son, Egbert A. The mother died 

Martha Kitchen, the sixth daughter, married Albert Tre- 
hune, as his second wife. She had one son, Albert ; and one 
daughter, Lily. Both are married, and both parents are dead. 

Of this large family two only are living John and Egbert 
M. There are no Kitchens in the fourth generation, and only 
two in the third, upon whom the propagation of the name 
depend ; and they are Prof. Joseph Kitchen, of Brooklyn, and 
Dr. William Kitchen, of Detroit, sons of Egbert M. Kitchen. 



ONE of the most prominent old county landmarks was the 
*" old mud church " that stood on the corner of Colborne and 
Union Streets, in the town of Simcoe. It was built by a 
generation of men who have mostly passed away, and for many 
years after the last hymn of praise to the God of all genera- 
tions echoed within its walls, the old relic stood crumbling into 
decay, a sad reminder of by -gone times. 

What especially characterizes this old land-mark is the fact 
that it was the first, last and only Congregational church 
edifice erected in the county. Congregationalism made a good 
vigorous start in Norfolk, but it was soon absorbed by the 
other religious denominations. The only apparent caiise of 
Congregational decadence in Norfolk, lies in the fact that the 
people have never evinced a strong predilection for democratic 
institutions religious, political or social. The " fathers " who 
laid the foundation of our social fabric were strongly imbued 
with anti-republican ideas; and the superstructure built on 
this foundation has been shapened and fashioned by their 
descendants, who inherited their ancestors' likes and dislikes. 

The distinctive principle of Congregational church polity is 
that every Christian church or congregation is entitled u to 
elect its own officers, to manage all its own affairs, and to stand 
independent of and irresponsible to all authority, saving that 
only of the Supreme and Divine Head of the Church, the Lord 
Jesus Christ." They regard the Sacred Scriptures as their 
only standard, and hold that human traditions, fathers and 
councils, canons and creeds, possess no authority over the faith 


and practice of Christians. They deny that there is any 
scriptural authority for uniting congregations of worshippers 
under a recognized central power that is, in any way, superior 
to that of each or any pastor of a congregation. This is the 
speciality which distinguishes Independency or Congrega- 
tionalism from Episcopacy and Presbytery. 

In matters of doctrine, the early Independents occupied the 
same position as the other sections of the Puritan family. 
They held in substance the evangelical doctrines of the Re- 
formers of the Westminster Assembly, and of the Thirty-nine 
Articles. They were quite numerous as early as the days of 
Queen Elizabeth. History informs us that in a speech made 
by Sir Walter Raleigh in the House of Commons in 1592, on 
the subject of a law to transport the Brownists as they 
were offensively but untruly named he thus refers to their 
numbers : " If two or three thousand Brownists meet at the 
seaside, at whose charge shall they be transported, or whither 
will you send them ? I am sorry for it, but I am afraid there 
are nearly twenty thousand of them in England ; and when 
they are gone, who shall maintain their wives and children ? " 
Some eminent leaders among them were put to death ; others 
were transported, while the larger number retired to Holland. 
In 1620 the Mayflower landed about a hundred of them in the 
New World, and from this germ grew several prosperous 
democratic commonwealths which aided materially in the 
building up of an independent and mighty Republic on this 
continent. In these New England States Congregationalism 
flourished like " a green bay tree." One of the first things 
done by the " pilgrim fathers," after they effected a landing, 
was to found a Congregational church at Plymouth, which was 
placed in charge of John Robinson. 

But Congregationalism has flourished in Episcopal England 
also. After the Toleration Act of 1689 was passed, an 
ineffectual effort was made to bring about a degree of affilia- 
tion between them and the English Presbyterians. In 1730 
they united with the Baptists and Presbyterians, under the 


name of the Three Denominations, for the protection of their 
civil and religious liberties. Next to the Methodists the Con- 
gregationalists are the largest dissenting body in England. The 
largest confederation of its churches is known as " The Con- 
gregational Union of England and Wales," and so jealous are 
they of their peculiar doctrines on the proper mode of church 
government, that at the time this union was effected it was 
declared not to be a court of appeal, or to possess in the 
slightest degree any legislative authority that might in any 
way arbitrarily affect any individual church. 

The old " mud church " was sold to T. R. Atkinson several 
years since. He tore down the gloomy old relic and converted 
the ground whereon it stood into something more cheerful (?) 
looking ; that is, a yard where grave-stones and tall sepulchral 
monuments are exposed to view and kept for sale. 

When Mr. Atkinson removed the foundation he found, in 
one of the corner-stones, two bottles containing several papers. 
A detailed account of this discovery was published in the 
Norfolk Reformer, and it is from this publication the following 
information is gleaned. 

The last surviving trustee of this extinct church organiza- 
tion was John E. Martin. One bottle contained a Declaration 
of Faith, and the Church Order of Discipline of the Congrega- 
tionalists or Independent Dissenters. The other contained a 
Catechism on the Construction and Government of Christian 
churches, by John Roaf. The corner-stone was laid in 1844, 
five years before Talbot District merged into the County of 
Norfolk. The document reads as follows : 

"The foundation-stone of this building was laid on the 
twenty-fifth day of September, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and forty-four, in the seventh year of 
the reign of Victoria Queen of Great Britain, etc., whom God 
preserve ; Sir Charles Metcalf being Governor of British North 
America. This erection is for the use of the 'Congregational 
Church of this town and vicinity, which was organized on the 
tenth of the present month by the Rev. William Clark, of the 


Congregational Union of England and Wales, minister, now the 
elected pastor of the church, Joseph Tilney and Robert Gibbons, 
deacons. The following are the names of the Building Com- 
mittee chosen in public meeting by the subscribers : William 
Clark, Dr. G. H. Parke, Philip Beemer, Robert Gibbons, Duncan 
Campbell, Aaron Culver, C. J. Dredge, Aaron Culver, jun., Dr. 
J. B. Grouse, G. J. Mulkins, Joseph Tilney, John Murray, John 
Mclntyre, Joseph Culver, Adam Bowlby, Peter O'Carr." 

A careful review of the above list of names will show that 
at the final dissolution of Congregationalism in Norfolk, all the 
other denominations participated in the absorption of its 



SOMEWHERE about the year 1772 a young Englishman 
named Cuthbert Robinson, and his wife Hannah, left their 
native parish in old Yorkshire, England, and came to the New 
World to participate in the marvellous advantages which, at 
that time, prevailed for the acquisition of homes and the 
accumulation of wealth. They settled in the Province of New 
Jersey, and remained loyal to the king during the war of the 
Revolution which followed so soon after their settlement. 
William and George, the pioneer heads of the two branches of 
the Robinson family of Townsend, were born in the New Jersey 
home the former in the year the colonies threw off their allegi- 
ance to the British crown. These sons inherited their father's 
love for the Old Flag, and although they remained twenty-two 
years in their native province after the signing of the treaty of 
peace which made it a State of the new Republic, their prefer- 
ence for British institutions suffered no change. In 1805 
Cuthbert Robinson and his sons, who were married and had 
families of their own, gave effect to their political preferences 
by emigrating to Upper Canada. They left New Jersey early 
in the spring. Going up the Hudson River as far as Albany 
they entered the Mohawk valley and came by way of Utica, 
crossing the Niagara River at Black Rock. They came direct 
to Townsend, where Job Slaght and his brother John had pre- 
viously settled. 

Captain William Robinson, eldest son of Cuthbert, was 
born in New Jersey in 1776. He married Sarah, daughter of 
Hendrick Slacht, of New Jersey, and, at the time of his settle- 
ment on Lots 4, 5 and 6, 7th concession of Townsend, had 


three children. Cuthbert Robinson lived with the family of 
his son William. He died in 1829, in his 86th year. 

Captain Wm. Robinson was a sturdy pioneer. He was 
industrious and persevering, and when the war of 1812 broke 
out he had effected a large clearing on his land, and was fairly 
started on the highway to prosperity. He laid aside the im- 
plements of peaceful industry and took up arms in defence of 
his adopted country, serving as Captain in the Norfolk militia. 
His busy life closed prematurely, in 1829, being only fifty-three 
years old ; and his wife Sarah followed him in 1840, in her 67th 
year. He had five sons Richard, William, Thomas, George and 
John ; and four daughters Hannah, Sarah, Mary and Eliza. 

Richard, eldest son of Captain William, was ' born in New 
Jersey in 1797, and was eight years old when his father 
settled in the wilderness on Nanticoke Creek. His boyhood 
days were spent in the woods of old Townsend during the log 
cabin era. They were days of incessant toil and few privileges. 
Although but fifteen years old when the war broke out, he 
enlisted at Waterford and served until its close. His son 
Hiram, of Waterford, is in possession of the old musket his 
father carried during his war service. He visited the old New 
Jersey home after the war, making the journey both ways on 
foot. He married Anna, daughter of Henry Yerks, and settled 
on Lot 3, 7th concession of Windham, where he hewed out a 
home for himself in the face of many painful difficulties. In 
1829 he undertook the task of carving another home out of 
the forest in the 2nd and 3rd concessions of Townsend. Some 
of the finest white pine and hard maple timber in the virgin 
forests of Norfolk grew on these lots, and in the work of clear- 
ing, trees were felled and burned which would, if standing 
to-day, command fabulous prices. Methods of sugar making, 
thrashing and cleaning grain, and farming operations generally, 
were crude in those days, but patient industry and unflinching 
perseverance overcame all difficulties and placed him on the 
list of Townsend's solid yeomanry. In 1836 his wife died, and 
in the following year he married Mrs. Nancy Firman, of 
Bloomsburg. He died in 1873, in his 76th year, being survived 


by his second wife nearly twelve years. There was no issue 
by the second marriage. He had four sons William, James, 
Elias and Hiram ; and seven daughters Eliza, Maria, Sarah 
Ann, Hannah, Getty, Rebecca and Elizabeth. 

Of this large family, WILLIAM, who was born in 1818, married 
Marilla Murray, of Townsend, and is living at present on the old 
homestead. He has reached his 80th year, and yet he is the 
great-grandson of Cuthbert Robinson, the Norfolk grand an- 
cestor of the family. JAMES married Bridget, daughter of the 
late John O'Donnell, of Delhi, and settled in what is known as 
Egypt, in Windham. He was one of the pioneers in that 
section of the township. On one occasion, during his earlier 
experiences, his Townsend friends asked him to get up a " paring 
bee," but " Jimmy " had no apples and he couldn't see how it 
would be possible for him to have a "paring bee." He was 
ordered to provide the refreshments and the guests would 
attend to the other matters. The party brought a plentiful 
supply from the Townsend orchards, and " Jimmy's paring bee " 
was long remembered as a leading event in " the land of Egypt." 

On one occasion Jimmy went to Fredericksburg (Delhi) 
with his ox team for a coffin. He was detained until late in 
the night, and it was so dark he could not see his hand before 
him. Seated upon the coffin he shuddered at the blood- 
curdling howls of the wolves as his faithful cattle wended their 
way among the stumps that dotted the forest-lined roadway ; 
and in the lonely cabin-home a young wife sat trembling at 
the horrid echoes that resounded through the forest, and 
fearful lest the coming of the morrow's dawn would reveal the 
awful fact that her husband had met with some terrible mishap. 

When Jimmy and his bride settled in Egypt they had no 
clock, and on one occasion this deprivation was the cause of 
two suppers being eaten in one night. They had resolved to 
visit the old folks in Townsend, and purposed getting an early 
start. They arose in the morning, as they supposed, prepared 
and ate their breakfast and then waited for the break of day. 
Becoming weary of waiting they again retired to bed, and, after 
what seemed another night's sleep, they arose a second time 


and ate what proved to be a breakfast. Whether the inter- 
vening meal was a second supper or a first breakfast they were 
never able to discover. In 1848 he left Egypt and settled on 
Lot 1, 2nd concession of Townsend. On this farm was a ridge 
covered with second-growth timber, and it has always been 
supposed that some refugee had cleared oft' the original forest 
at some time ante-dating the first known settlements in the 
county. James resides at present on Lot 6, 4th concession, 
and has reached his 79th year. ELIAS married Frances Bailey, 
and settled on part of the homestead. He died in 1867, in his 
42nd year. HIRAM married Abigail, daughter of Samuel 
Lundy, and settled in Townsend. He is living at present in 
Waterford, having reached his 66th year. ELIZA married 
Jacob Cole, and settled, finally, in Walsingham, where Mr. Cole 
died. She is living in Lynedoch, and has reached her 76th 
year. MARIA married James Coe, settled in Townsend, and 
died in 1847, in her 25th year. HANNAH married Oliver' 
Slaght, and settled in Townsend. Both are dead, she having 
died in 1851, in her 24th year. GETTY married Geo. Kent, of 
Delhi. Both are dead, she having died in 1856, in her 28th 
year. REBECCA married Oscar Wilson, and settled in Walsing- 
ham. She is a widow in her 67th year. ELIZABETH married 
William Cole, and settled finally in Michigan. She is a 
widow, and has reached her 63rd year. 

William, second son of Captain William, was born in New 
Jersey in 1799, and was six years old when the family left 
New Jersey. He married Susan, daughter of Sherman Hyde, 
and settled, finally, on Lot 11, 7th concession of Townsend, where 
he died in 1879, in his 81st year. His wife died in 1890, in her 
82nd year. He had three sons John, Sherman and Walter; 
and six daughters Sarah, Clarinda, Lucinda, Esther, Louisa 
and Lizana. Of this family, JOHN, who was born in 1826, 
married Mary, daughter of William Parney, and settled in 
Townsend. He was a Justice of the Peace and a deacon in 
the Baptist church. In 1870 he settled near Delhi. In 1884 
his wife died in her 56th year, and, subsequently, he married 
Mrs. John Shaver. He died in Waterford in 1894, having 


reached his 68th year. SHERMAN settled in Walsingham,. 
where he died. WALTER married Larinda Smith in 1862, and 
settled on the homestead. He has in his possession the old 
flint-lock musket brought from Yorkshire by his great-grand- 
father a hundred and twenty-seven years ago. 

Hannah, eldest daughter of Captain William, was born in 
New Jersey in 1801, and was four years old when the family 
came to Canada. She married James Walker, of Woodhouse. 
Her children are enumerated in the Walker genealogy. 

Thomas, third son of Captain William, was born in New 
Jersey in 1804, and was the baby when the family settled in 
Townsend. He married Amelia Vasbinder, and settled in Oak- 
land. Subsequently he moved to Goshen, and from there to 
Tilsonburg, where he died in 1858, in his 54th year. His two 
sons settled in Michigan, and his only daughter married John 
Havens, of Otterville. 

George, fourth son of Captain William, was the first-born 
child after the settlement in Townsend. He married Mary 
Ann Holmes, and succeeded to the old homestead. His wife 
died in 1848, in her 36th year, and subsequently he married 
Caroline Holmes. He had several children by each wife. He 
died in his 54th year, in 1861, and -after his death the old 
Robinson homestead passed into strangers' hands. His second 
wife lives with her son Ezra, at Oil Springs, Ontario. 

Mary, third daughter of Captain William, was born in 1812, 
and married William, son of William Smith, of Charlotteville. 
Her children are enumerated in the Smith genealogy. She 
died in 1867, in her 56th year. 

George Robinson, second son of the original Cuthbert, was 
born and married in New Jersey. He settled on Lot 16, 5th 
concession of Townsend, and died in 1858, in his 86th year. 
He had three sons Thomas, William and Martin ; and three 
daughters Martha, Rebecca and Sarah. The two eldest sons 
settled and died in Windham, and the youngest died in Town- 
send. MARTHA married Abram Barber, and REBECCA married 
John Barber, both of Townsend. SARAH married Barzillia 
Beal and settled in Townsend. 



THE words "died with their boots on," is a well-known 
figurative expression applied to those who cling to life tena- 
ciously, persevering in their worldly undertakings until, over- 
come by an accumulation of infirmities, they drop dead in their 
tracks. In this sense, to die with one's boots on is to stub- 
bornly resist the ills that flesh is heir to, pursuing life's pur- 
poses with the plodding patience of the cart-horse that falls in 
the traces while pulling at his load. 

But the expression is applied to the subjects of this sketch 
in a literal sense. The two pioneer heads of the Messacar 
family, of Townsend, died with their boots on. One was found 
in the woods where the limb of a tree had fallen upon him, 
and the other was found in the woods with a plank in his arms 
where he had fallen dead while engaged in repairing a bridge. 
High water had floated some of the planks off the stringers of 
the bridge and the old pioneer was engaged in the work of 
replacing them. Not returning when expected a search was 
made, which resulted in the finding of his dead body. He had 
picked up one of the stray planks and was in the act of carry- 
ing it to the bridge when he fell dead. He was lying in the 
mud, with his arms tightly clasped about the plank. 

This was Abraham Messacar, who settled on the Nanticoke 
Creek, near the present Rockford Post-office. 

The Messacars came from New Jersey with the Slaghts. 

Abraham Messacar married Sarah, daughter of the original 

Job Slaght, in New Jersey. He had two children Abraham 

and Job when the family came to Canada. They were quite 



young at the time, and while en route the pack horse on which 
they rode took fright at the sudden appearance of an Indian 
in paint and feathers, and threw off both children. It was a 
great experience for the youngsters, and they never forgot it. 
Mr. Messacar built and operated one of Townsend's pioneer 
sawmills. The white pine timber in the vicinity of the mill 
was as good in quality as any in the county, and during the 
old pioneer's time nothing but prime, clear logs taken from a 
virgin forest was sawed into lumber at this mill. 

Abraham Messacar had seven sons Abraham, Job, Henry, 
Nicholas, John, Caleb and William ; and two daughters Mary 
and Elizabeth. 

Abraham, eldest son of Abraham, was born in New Jersey. 
He married Margaret Beal, settled at Rockford, and succeeded 
his father in the milling business. He had three sons Eli C., 
Horace G., and Rolph; and ten daughters Hannah, Sarah, 
Mary Jane, Hortense, Martha Ann, Harriet, Ellen, Celia, 
Margaret E. and Ruth H. 

Job, second son of Abraham, was born in New Jersey. He 
was married three times. By his first wife, Hannah Yerks, he 
had five sons Abraham, James, Aaron, George and Edwin; 
and six daughters Eliza, Sarah, Arvilla, Maria, Lorinda and 
Mary. By his second wife, Elizabeth Landon, he had one son 
Enoch. By his third wife, Esther Ann Bowlby, he had five 
sons Alfred, Louis, David, Adam and John A. ; and two 
daughters Frances and Lucy. Job Messacar had nineteen 
children and his brother thirteen, making thirty-two in all. A 
father and son in the Parney family had thirty-nine children, 
and in these four Townsend families were seventy-one children, 
all Parneys and Messacars. Job settled at Rockford, or 
Nanticoke Falls, as it was called by our grandfathers. 

Henry, third son of Abraham, was twice married. By his 
first wife he had three sons Warren, John and William ; and 
three daughters Mary, Martha and Melinda. By his second 
wife he had two daughters. He settled in Michigan. 

Nicholas, fourth son of Abraham, married Sarah Wymer, 



by whom he had one son. Subsequently he married Getty 
Yerks, by whom he had four sons Hiram, Eli, Louis and 

John, fifth son of Abraham, married Lutitia Esmond, of 
Norwich, and settled just north of Waterford. By this 
marriage he had one daughter. Subsequently he married 
Eliza Gilbert, by whom he had two sons Gilbert and Allen ; 
and one daughter, Susanna. 

Caleb, sixth son of Abraham, was twice married. He 
settled in Townsend and had two daughters by his first wife ; 
and one son, John, and one daughter, Rosy, by his second wife. 

William, seventh and youngest son of Abraham, married 
Phoebe Lawrence, and settled in Townsend. He had one son, 
Charles ; and four daughters Jane, Ann, Augusta and Anice. 

Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of the original Abraham, 
married, respectively, Murphy and Dr. Pomeroy. 

John Messacar, pioneer head of the other branch of the 
family, settled north of Waterford. As before stated, he was 
accidently killed in the woods by a branch of a tree falling 
upon him. He had five sons Henry, John, William, Abraham 
and Matthew ; and two daughters Mary and Sarah. 

Henry, eldest son of John, married Anna Chambers, and 
settled on the homestead. He had one son, Levi ; and three 
daughters Euphemia, Nancy and Hannah. 

John, second son of John, married Sarah Clouse, and settled 
south of Waterford. He had four sons Louis, John, Aaron 
and Abraham ; and three daughters Elizabeth, Amanda and 
Mary Jane. 

William, third son of John, married Anna Slaght, and 
settled in Burford, where he raised a family. 

Abraham, fourth son of John, married Martha Walker, and 
settled near Waterford. He had four sons Walker, Eli, 
Alexander and Levi ; and three daughters Mary, Sarah and 

Matthew, fifth son of John, married Mary Clouse, and settled 
in Oakland, where he raised a family. John Messacar, late of 
Houghton, was a son of Matthew. 



IT only lacks three years of being a century since John 
Beemer, of Colborne, was made a Squire. It was on All Fools' 
Day, in the year 1800, that the packet containing the first. 
General Commission of the Peace was placed in the hands of 
Thomas Welch by Colonel Samuel Ryerse. By virtue of this, 
commission seventeen residents of London District were made 
squires, and John Beemer was one of them. In the beginning of 
the century the Colborne settlement had a John Beemer,, 
Esquire, and now, in its closing years, the old village still 
boasts of a John Beemer, Esquire. But these latter day squires 
are not the figure-heads their old ancestors were. In the early 
years of the settlement a squire was a personage of great 
consequence. He was assigned to keep the district, and to 
" hear and determine divers felonies, trespasses and other 
misdemeanors" committed in the district. He sat upon the 
judicial bench and charged the juries. In session he and his 
associate justices granted licenses to keep public-houses, and 
preachers of the Gospel could not marry among their own 
congregations without having first obtained a permit from the 
" Squires " in session. The squire in those days was judge and 
reeve combined ; for being assigned to " keep the district," he 
had a voice in the management of pretty much all matters 
connected with the judicial and civil affairs of the district. 
The pioneer squire was a man of dignity, and the unlucky 
wight who was so thoughtless as to indulge in a little profanity 
in his presence was generally brought before the bar of justice 
and taxed for his indulgence at the rate of one shilling for each 


Squire John Beemer was a son of Philip and Maria Beemer, 
of New Jersey. The old family Bible is in possession of Mrs. 
Charles Beemer, of Simcoe, and from its time-stained register 
is learned the fact that this Philip was born in New Jersey, in 
1739, and his wife, Maria, in 1747; that they were married in 
1761, and that they both died in 1811. 

John Beemer, Esq., eldest son of Philip, of New Jersey, was 
born in 1762. He married Hannah Lewis, and came to Canada 
in 1787, settling at the Forty-mile Creek, in the Niagara District. 
They lived there ten years, and just one hundred years ago 
they came up to Long Point settlement and settled on what is 
known as the Carpenter Farm, adjoining the village of Colborne, 
in Townsend. March 6th, 1804, he obtained a Government 
patent for Lot 1, 13th concession, upon which the Townsend por- 
tion of the village is located. When the Divisional Courts were 
instituted in 1800, as Courts of Requests, the townships of 
Rainham, Walpole, Woodhouse and Townsend were grouped 
under one Court of Requests, and Squire Beemer was appointed 
to act as one of the associate justices. In 1804 he officiated in 
a like position for Townsend, Windham and Burford, and in 
the following year he was acting Justice in the Court of Re- 
quests for Burford, Blenheim, Townsend and Windham. After 
war was declared in 1812, General Brock held a meeting at 
the house of William Culver, south of Simcoe, and it is said 
Squire Beemer attended this meeting and spoke rather dis- 
paragingly of a prospective war with the United States. The 
object of the meeting was to recruit volunteers for the Detroit 
expedition, and it is said the ultra-Loyalists were shocked by 
Mr. Beemer's speech, and then and there made up their minds 
that the Squire of Colborne was hardly as patriotic as a Squire 
of King George III. ought to be. 

Squire Beemer was one of the first deacons of the first Pres- 
byterian congregation organized in the county. He was a man 
of strong individuality, and his name will always be enrolled 
among Norfolk's most prominent foundation builders. When 
the history of the public institutions of our county is written, 


the name of John Beemer will appear on its first page as one 
of the four Justices of the Peace who sat on the Judicial Bench 
of the first court held in Norfolk County. 

John Beemer, Esq., had four sons Levi, Philip, John and 
Frank ; and five daughters Anna, Maria, Mary, Hannah and 
Susanna. He died in 1828, in his 67th year. 

Levi Beemer, eldest son of John, married Elizabeth Culver 
in 1808, and died in 1812, leaving one son, George, and one or 
two daughters. 

Philip Beemer, second son of John, was born in 1789, at 
Grimsby. He was eight years old when his father came to 
Long Point settlement. In 1816 he married Mary Ann Bloom- 
field, of New York, and settled on Lot 1, 13th concession of Town- 
send. Philip Beemer was an officer in the militia during the 
war of 1812, as evidenced by the following copy of an old 
document : 

" Isaac Brock, Esquire, President, administering the Govern- 
ment of the Province of Upper Canada, and Major-General 
commanding His Majesty's forces therein, etc., etc., etc., to Philip 
Beemer, Gentleman, Greeting: Reposing especial confidence in 
your loyalty, courage and good conduct, I do hereby appoint 
you to be ensign in the Second Regiment of Norfolk militia, 
during pleasure, and of which Robert Nichol, Esq., is Lieutenant- 
Colonel. You are carefully and diligently to discharge the 
duty of ensign by exercising and well disciplining both the 
inferior officers and men of the said militia. And I do hereby 
command them to obey you as their ensign, and you are to 
observe and follow all such orders and directions as you shall 
from time to time receive from me or any other your superior 
officer, according to law. 

" Given under my hand and seal at arms, at York, the 
Twelfth day of February, 1812, and in the Fifty-second year of 
His Majesty's reign. 


During the war Mr. Beemer " kept bach." on his farm at 
Colborne, when not on duty. At the time of General McArthur's 
raid he owned a span of valuable carriage horses and an old mare. 
Fearing that the " Yankees " might " take a shine " to his 


roadsters, he took them back into the woods and secreted them, 
leaving the old mare out in plain sight as a blind. When the 
Americans came up they caught the mare, and the hidden horses, 
being separated from her, kept up such an incessant whinnying 
that the attention of the raiders was attracted to them and 
they captured all three, and took their owner prisoner, besides. 

Philip Beemer, son of John, had five sons William, Levi, 
James G., Hiram C. and John; and one daughter, Harriet. 
He died in 1846, in his 58th year. Of this family, WILLIAM 
married Catherine Jane Westbrook, and settled in Colborne. 
The late Charles Beemer, of Simcoe, was a son of William. LKVI 
married Eliza Gage, and settled in Hamilton. JAMES G. studied 
medicine and died single, in his 24th year. HIRAM C. settled 
in Lansing, Michigan. JOHN married Mary A. Barber, and 
succeeded to the old Colborne homestead. Subsequently he 
married Sarah Wood. He is the present Police Magistrate of 
Simcoe. HARRIET was born in 1819, and married Jonathan 
Austin. Both are living, having reached a ripe old age. 

John Beemer, third son of the old Squire, was born in 1800, 
He married Mary Ann Freeman, and settled on the homestead. 
He died young, leaving one son, Daniel, and one daughter,. 

Frank Beemer, youngest son of the original John, died in 
childhood in his 13th year. 

Anna Beemer, eldest daughter of the original John, died 
single in her 22nd year. 

Maria Beemer, the second daughter, was born in Niagara 
District in 1793, married Eliakim Crosby, and settled on what 
was subsequently known as the Kent Farm. During the war 
of 1812 Mr. Crosby was unable to stand the pressure, and he 
abandoned his farm and returned to the land of his birth, 
settling in the State of Ohio. 

Mary Beemer, third daughter of John, was the baby when 
the family came to the settlement. She married Nathan Lyon 
in 1818, and settled on the lake front in the township of 
Malahide. She had two sons Nathan and Calvin; and one 


daughter, Hannah. Calvin succeeded to the homestead. Mr. 


Lyon had a family by a former marriage, and Mahlon E. Lyon, 
ex-Warden of Elgin County, is a grandson of the first wife. 

Hannah Beemer, fourth daughter of John, married Axford 
Bowlby. Her children are enumerated in the Bowlby 

Susanna Beemer, fifth and youngest daughter of John, the 
old pioneer, was born in 1805, married Peter O'Carr, and 
settled in the home neighborhood. .She had four sons John, 
George, Lewis and James ; and three daughters Calista, Eliza 
and Melinda. Mr. O'Carr died in 1856, in his 63rd year. 

Henry Beemer, the old pioneer who settled near Waterford 
at the beginning of the century, was a cousin of the old Squire 
of Colborne. He was born in New Jersey in 1780, and was 
eighteen years younger than John. He came single, and 
married Catherine Sovereign. He had four sons Philip, 
Peter, Abraham and Henry. 

Philip Beemer, eldest son of Henry, married Abigail 
Parney, and settled in Waterford. The " Beemer House," of 
W T aterford, was one of the best known and best kept homes for 
the accommodation of travellers, in the county. For over a 
quarter of a century Philip Beemer kept this old land -mark. 
He had two sons Lewis and Elias ; and two daughters 
Sylvia A. and Roxey. 

Peter Beemer, second son of Henry, married Elizabeth 
Culver, and settled near Waterford. He had two sons 
William and Hiram ; and two daughters Mary and Martha. 

Abraham Beemer, third son of Henry, married Eunice 
Culver, and settled near Waterford. He had four sons John, 
Levi, Wesley and Charles; and four daughters Sarah Ann, 
Lizana, Mary and Charity. 

Henry Beemer, youngest son of Henry, married Esther, 
daughter of Robert Shearer, of Charlotteville, and settled in 
Townsend. He had four sons Daniel, Leamon, Oliver and 
Nelson ; and one daughter, Mary, who married Alexander 
Turnbull, of the American Baptist Pub. Society. DANIEL 


married Mary, daughter of Simpson McCall, of Vittoria ; 
LEAMON married Jennie, daughter of Rev. Shook McConnell, of 
Malahide; OLIVER married Mary McMichael, and NELSON 
settled in Wyoming. 

The grand ancestor of the Waterford Beemer family died 
in 1848, in his 68th year, and his wife Catherine died in 1851, 
in her 75th year. 

Henry Beemer had two Brothers Philip and Peter who 
came to Canada in an early day ; and it is said Philip settled 
in Norfolk and Peter in Oakland. It is also said that Peter 
kept a pioneer tavern in that township. No data was received 
pertaining to the history of either of their families. 



THE history of the Soverein Sovereen Sovereign family 
is involved in vague traditions. It is said that during the 
troublous times of Maria Theresa there lived in Germany four 
Protestant brothers named Soverein. One of these brothers 
enlisted in the " King's Life Guards " under Joseph II., and 
died single. The other three emigrated to America about the 
middle of last century, and settled in the colony of New 
Jersey, in the County of Morris. Soon after settling here two 
of the brothers, who were young men and unmarried, died from 
the effects of drinking too freely of cold spring water while 
engaged in harvest work and being in an overheated condition. 
The surviving brother, whose name was Frederick, married 
Lavinia Culver in New Jersey, and raised a large family ; and 
when the war of the Revolution broke out it is said he espoused 
the Loyalist cause. 

Another tradition, said to have been dictated by Rev. George 
Sovereign, son of Frederick, son of the original Frederick, in 
his old age, is quite without the possibilities, as every student 
of German history will readily perceive. According to this 
story, Frederick, the grand ancestor, served all through the 
Thirty- Years' War, and when it closed he returned to the old 
home, and finding his parents dead, his brothers gone to sea, 
and the little ancestral home in the hands of strangers, he 
resolved to leave the country and seek his fortune in the New 
World. He embarked on an "American" vessel, and after 
he arrived in New Jersey he married an " American girl." 


Comment on this wonderful story is unnecessary, as the stu- 
dious reader will remember that the Thirty-Years' War came 
to a close in 1648 by the signing of the treaty of Westphalia. 
According to the list of Frederick's children appearing in the 
record dictated by his grandson George, Anna was the tenth 
child and the only one whose birth date March 1st, 1765 is 
given. From this we might safely infer that the old ancestor 
was married somewhere about the year 1 745 ; but according to 
the tradition, this wedding must have occurred not many years 
after the close of the German Thirty-Years' War, which would 
make old Father Frederick a youth whose tender brow had 
been exposed to the snowy blasts of more than a hundred 
and forty winters when he led his New Jersey bride to the 
hymenial altar. There are many traditions current among our 
old family descendants that do as much violence to the possi- 
bilities as this, but as this one is given such high credit by 
some distinguished members of the family, it is the only one 
occupying space in this series of sketches. 

Traces of the old Sovereign home on Schooley's Mountain, 
New Jersey, still exist. Here the ancestral parents spent 
about fifty -five years of their married lives ; and during this 
time thirteen children were born to them, and all had grown 
up and married. In the closing years of the century the 
Sovereigns migrated to Upper Canada, settling in Norfolk 
County. The party consisted of twelve families, including the 
Henry Beemer, Clouse, Heath and Searls families. Frederick 
Sovereign and his wife were well advanced in years, and 
pioneer life for them was of short duration. In 1802 the old 
man was at the pioneer home of his son Frederick, in Char- 
lotteville, where he rendered some assistance in laying up a 
rail fence around a turnip patch. This was the man, remember, 
who had served in the Thirty- Years' War previous to 1648 ; but 
if another reference is made to that tradition the reader will 
shock his intelligence by concluding that the old veteran must 
have enlisted seventy or eighty years before he was born. He 
was an old man, however, when he died. In the early years 


of our century little children were taken by their parents to 
view two mounds which marked the spot where he and his 
aged wife were buried. One of these little children is now 
the aged Mrs. Job Slaght, of Port Byerse, who says they were 
the first graves she ever saw. The site of those mounds is 
now marked by a clump of elm trees standing about thirty 
feet north of the palatial edifice known as the Dr. Bowlby 
residence in Waterford. 

In the original Frederick's family were nine sons David, 
Jacob, Leonard, Henry, John, Frederick, Philip, Morris and 
George ; and four daughters Catherine, Elizabeth, Anna and 

David Sovereign settled on the Round Plains. He had 
four sons Henry, John, Anthony and Lawrence ; and five 
daughters Anna, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary and Sophia. 
The first-named son in this family is the notorious Henry 
Sovereign, whose well-known criminal act shocked the inmates 
of every home in the land. He was always perverse in dis- 
position and extremely obstinate and self-willed. It is said 
that when a boy his mother upbraided him for excessive butter 
eating, and it threw him into such a terrible rage that he swore 
he would eat no more butter while he lived. It is said he 
kept this oath inviolate. David's daughters married, respec- 
tively, into the Glover, Smith, Lefler and Beemer families. 

Jacob Sovereign, second son of Frederick, forms the subject 
of a separate sketch entitled, " Jake Sovereign, the Pioneer 

Leonard Sovereign, third son of Frederick, was born in 
1763, and settled at Waterford, where, with his brother Morris, 
he developed a milling business and founded the village. He 
died in 1823, in his 60th year, and Ruhamah, his wife, died in 
1828, in her 63rd year. In their family were five sons 
William, Philip, Joseph, David and Leonard ; and five daugh- 
ters Phoebe, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine and Ruhamah. These 
daughters married, respectively, Jacob Langs, Adam Bowlby, 
Ezekiel Foster, Oliver Blake and Josiah Smith. WILLIAM, the 


eldest son, married Diana Bloomfield, and settled on the Round 
Plains, where he raised a family of three sons Horace, Jere- 
miah and Leonard ; and three daughters Mary, Eliza and 
Jane. PHILIP settled at Oakville. JOSEPH died in 1850, in 
his 49th year. DAVID studied medicine and became an M.D. 
LEONARD married Sarah Ann Fluelling, and succeeded to the old 
homestead. He was a shrewd business man, and amassed con- 
siderable wealth. He was enterprising and liberal-minded, 
and the evidences of prosperity everywhere abounding in the 
beautiful village of Waterford are due in no small degree to 
his broad, progressive ideas and persevering industry. He 
was one of Norfolk's solid citizens, and the fine village home, 
with its background of broad, fertile fields, which he left 
behind him, constitute one of the most valuable and most 
pleasantly situated homesteads in Ontario. Mr. Sovereign died 
quite recently at an advanced age. He left one son, Louis L., 
and two daughters Mary F. and Alice, who married, respec- 
tively, Leamon Becker and J. E. York, both of Waterford. 
The son succeeded to the homestead and is one of Waterford's 
leading citizens at the present time. 

Henry Sovereign, fourth son of Frederick, died in New 
Jersey. He left two sons Richard and Joshua ; and one 
daughter, who married into the Harpingdon family. 

John Sovereign, fifth son of Frederick, married a daughter 
of Joseph Culver, and settled near his brother Frederick. His 
name appears in the grand jury lists in the record of the first 
London District courts held at " old Fort Monroe " before the 
close of last century. In John's family were three sons 
Robert, Freeman and John ; and two daughters Nancy and 

Frederick Sovereign, sixth son of Frederick, 'was about 
twelve years old when the war of the Revolution broke out. 
In about the year 1786 he married Patience, daughter of 
Henry Brown, of New Jersey. Mr. Brown had served as a 
private in the British army, and had come out with General 
Wolfe and participated in the capture of Quebec. Frederick 


had four or five children when the move was made to Long 
Point settlement. He took up Lot 24, 6th concession of Char- 
lotteville. Both he and his wife were tall and muscular, and 
were endowed with irony constitutions. Frederick died in 
1860, in his 97th year having survived his wife four years. 
In their family were six sons Morris, John, George, Solomon, 
Thomas and Louis ; and three daughters Nancy, Elizabeth 
and Sarah. It appears from the data furnished that the 
daughters were the eldest, and were born in New Jersey. 
NANCY married John Gustin, and died young. ELIZABETH 
married into the Martin family, and SARAH died young and 

MORRIS, the eldest son, was born in New Jersey in 1794. 
He married Phoebe, daughter of Abraham Powell, and settled 
in Illinois. He died in 1864, in his 71st year. JOHN settled 
in the western States also. GEORGE was born in 1798, and 
was, probably, the first baby born in the pioneer home. He 
was a Methodist preacher, and died in the States in 1890, in 
his 93rd year. SOLOMON had a twin brother, who died in 
infancy. He was born in 1800, married Jane, daughter of 
William Smith, of Charlotteville, and settled in the western 
States. He died in 1896, his life being nearly measured by 
the nineteenth century. THOMAS was born in 1801, and died 
in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1888, in his 87th year. Louis, the 
youngest son, was born in 1812, became a doctor, and settled 
in Illinois, where he died in 1887, in his 75th year. 

Philip Sovereign, seventh son of the original Frederick, 
married a daugter of Joseph Culver, and was also one of the 
grand jurors that attended the courts held at "old Fort 
Monroe." In this branch were three sons Charles, Philip 
and William ; and five daughters Amy, Mahalie, Elizabeth, 
Mary and Nancy. The latter died young. 

Morris Sovereign, eighth son of the original Frederick, was 
a baby in New Jersey when the colonies threw off their 
allegiance. He settled at Waterford and operated with his 
brother Leonard. He was one of Norfolk's pioneer Free- 


masons, and in sketch " Pioneer Freemasonry " an account is 
given of the -burning of the Sovereign mill during the war of 
1812, and his narrow escape from hanging on that occasion. 
This old pioneer died in 1835, in his 60th year ; and his wife, 
Lydia, died four years previously, in her 52nd year. 

According to the family genealogy dictated by Rev. George 
Sovereign in his old age, there were seven sons in the Morris 
branch namely, Abraham, David, Vincent, Samuel, Leamon, 
Morris and Lawrence ; but according to data gathered at 
Waterford, five sons only were, named Samuel, Leamon, 
Morris, Lawrence and Daniel. There were two daughters in 
the family Elizabeth and Harriet, who married, respectively, 
James Green and Barton Becker, both of Waterford. SAMUEL 
married Amy Robbins, and settled in Windham, where he 
raised a family. LEAMON married into the Culver family, and 
settled in Simcoe, where he established a reputation for origin- 
ality in merchandising methods. He was a well-known char- 
acter in his day, and when death released him from his labors 
no man was ever more generally missed on the streets and in 
the business circles of Simcoe. He left two sons Sylvester 
and Charles, and two daughters. MORRIS settled in the States ; 
LAWRENCE settled on Round Plains ; and on an old tombstone 
in the old burying ground at Waterford we learn that DANIEL 
died in 1857, in his 52nd year. 

George Sovereign, ninth and youngest son of the original 
Frederick, also settled at Waterford. It is said that the 
Sovereigns operated a distillery in connection with their 
other business ; and that it was here where the Turkey Point 
Indian, known in old times as " broken-nose Jo Injun " met 
with the experience that gave him this distinguishing mark. 
Jo was fond of " fire-water," and spent a large portign of his 
time loafing around the distilleries, where he put his injun-mty 
to practical account in devising ways and means of securing 
an occasional drink. One day he visited the Waterford dis- 
tillery and showed a disposition to help himself. George 
Sovereign objected, and a fight ensued, and in the melee the 


bridge of Jo's nose collapsed under one of George's sledge- 
hammer blows. 

In George's family were five sons William, Hugh, Daniel, 
George and Morris; and four daughters Charlotte, Sarah 
Ann, Polly and Margaret. As the Rev. George does not name 
a Daniel in the family of Morris, this Daniel in George's family 
may be the one buried in the old ground at Waterford. 

Catherine Sovereign, eldest daughter of the original 
Frederick, married Henry Beemer, and settled at Waterford, 
Her children are enumerated in the Beemer genealogy. 

Elizabeth Sovereign, second daughter of the original 
Frederick, became the pioneer mother of the Clouse family. 
She had three sons Jacob, John and Abraham ; and four 
daughters Anna, Mary, Sarah and Elizabeth. These daugh- 
ters married, respectively, into the Hunter, Messacar (two) and 
Slaght families. 

Anna Sovereign, third daughter of Frederick, married John 
Heath, in New Jersey, in 1792, and settled in Townsend. Her 
children are enumerated in the Heath genealogy. 

Eva Sovereign, fourth and youngest daughter of the 
original Frederick, married Ephraim Searls, of New Jersey,, 
who came to Norfolk with the Sovereigns. In her family 
were three sons William, Philip and Moses. 

The Sovereigns are noted for their frank, off-hand man- 
ners, their persevering industry, and their physical robustness, 
and tendency to long life. 



IN the early days of the settlement the all-important ques- 
tion was how to facilitate the means of travel. The settlers 
were few and far between ; and this " between " was an 
unbroken forest crossed by streams, sand ridges with almost 
perpendicular sides, and miry swales. They were not troubled 
with the scientific problems demanding a solution at the pre- 
sent time as, for instance, the proper proportions of a turnpike, 
the best approved methods of draining, or the most scientific 
way of preparing and applying a metal covering. It was a 
question of how to find a track through the woods wide enough 
for an ox-cart to pass through ; of how to get over the streams 
and up the hills, and how to pass over the bogs without danger 
of sinking beneath the surface. The first roads were run 
where the natural obstructions offered the least resistance, and 
this accounts for the old cross-lots roads that everywhere 

For more than a year after the new province was organized 
there was no system devised for the regulation of these 
matters. Sir John Graves Simcoe and the most of his subjects 
were U. E. Loyalists. They had passed through the war of 
the Revolution, and had not forgotten what an effective means 
for the propagation of sedition the old town-meetings in the 
colonies had proved to be, and they were averse to the adop- 
tion of the system in the new province. The magistrates and 
the omnipresent constable in Quarter Sessions assembled, were 
early imbued with power to deal out justice to the settlers 
and regulate and manage local affairs. The " squire " was a 


consequential personage in the early times. The Province was 
divided into districts, and from time to time sub-divisions into 
other and separate districts were made, and each district was 
governed by a Court of Quarter Sessions. The enabling Acts 
of the Legislature were ambiguous and vaguely defined, and a 
very great latitude was allowed the justices in the exercise of 
the powers delegated to them. From the opening of the first 
session of the Legislature down to the adoption of the muni- 
cipal system there was no material change in the principle 
underlying the management of municipal affairs. The house- 
holders and freeholders subject to assessment were permitted 
to assemble themselves together once a year and elect certain 
township officers, but the officials thus elected and the town- 
meeting itself were subject, to a greater or less extent, to the 
supervising control of the almost autocratic Court of Sessions. 
The " Sessions " was the " Star Chamber " of pioneer times, not 
that it abused its powers, but by reason of the scope of the 
powers invested in it. Its function was not confined to " keep- 
ing the peace in the said district, and also to hear and deter- 
mine divers felonies, trespasses and other misdemeanors," it 
was a council for the administration of municipal affairs for 
the entire district. 

In order to facilitate the manifold duties of the Justices in 
Session, it was early enacted that " any two or more justices, 
acting within the limits of their jurisdiction, may assemble, 
sit and hold a court, to be called a Court of Requests, on the 
first and third Saturdays of every month, at some fixed place 
within their divisions, said divisions to be determined by the 
Justices in Session." These divisional courts were authorized 
to hear and determine all matters of debt where the value of 
the claim did not exceed a certain fixed sum. Thus was laid 
the foundation of our Division Court system. 

In 1798 Walpole and Rainham were annexed to Norfolk 
County, and these two townships with Townsend and Wood- 
house, formed one of these divisions after the district was 
organized in 1800, the presiding justices being Samuel Ryerse, 


John Beerner and Wynant Williams, and the court was held at 
the house of .lames Clendenning, in Woodhouse. 

In 1801 Walsingham was given a Court of Requests under 
Samuel Ryerse and John Backhouse; and in 1804 we find the 
Courts of Requests constituted in London District as follows : 
Walsingham, under Elias Foster and William Hutchinson ; 
Charlotteville, under Peter Teeple and N. B. Barnum ; Wood- 
house, Walpole and Rainham, under Wynant Williams and 
John Coltman ; Townsend, Windham and Burford, under John 
Beemer and William Tyler ; and Blenheim, Oxford and Dela- 
ware, under Thomas Horner, Daniel Springer and Thomas 

These Courts of Requests exercised authority over the over- 
seers of highways, as evidenced by the following Road Order 
issued by the Charlotteville Court of Requests : 

" Norfolk County, District of London. 

"Charlotteville, Sept. 20th, 1804. 

" Ordered by the Commissioners that Abraham Powell, 
overseer, perform the labor on the public roads from James 
Russell's mill to W T illiam Culver's mill, and through by Lot 
Tisdale's, to the Front Road at Potter's Creek. 


Even members of Parliament were forced to rely upon the 
Court of Sessions for remuneration for their services, as the 
following entry in the old journal, dated March 12th, 1806, will 
show : 

" It is ordered that a full rate of assessment be collected for 
the present year, and that one-fifth be added to pay Benijah 
Mallory, Esq., the representative in Parliament for the District 
of London, for his services as such for thirty-nine days in 
the second session of the fourth Provincial Parliament, at ten 
shillings per day, amounting to 19 10s. Od" 

The early settlers in Upper Canada were, in the main, 
honest, peaceable and industrious. For many years they were 


wholly occupied in hewing out homes for themselves, and the 
principal demand on the Legislature, therefore, was for a pro- 
vision of ways and means for the opening of public highways, 
and the building of bridges. The continuous advance of settle- 
ment necessitated an annual " tinkering " with the assessment 
and statute labor laws, and the laws creating parish and town- 
ship officials and defining their duties. Although the changes, 
were numerous they were trifling in their nature, and did not 
materially lessen the authority of the justices or give the 
electorate more power in the management of their local affairs. 
Taxation was based on fixed or specific valuations. In other 
words, all taxable real and personal property was particularized, 
and a fixed value placed thereon by statutory enactment for 
purposes of taxation ; and as property rapidly appreciated in 
value in the development of the new country, the laws were 
frequently altered. In 1819 a more general assessment law 
was enacted from which the following is quoted : 

" Every acre of arable pasture or meadow land, twenty 
shillings ; every acre of uncultivated land, four shillings ; every 
house built with timber, squared or hewed on two sides, of one- 
story in height, with not more than two fireplaces, twenty 
pounds, and for every additional fireplace, four pounds ; every 
dwelling-house built of squared or flatted timber on two sides > 
of two stories in height, with not more than two fireplaces, 
thirty pounds, and for every additional fireplace, eight pounds ; 
every framed house under two stories in height, with not more 
than two fireplaces, thirty-five pounds, and every additional 
fireplace, five pounds ; every brick or stone house of one story 
in height, with not more than two fireplaces, forty pounds, 
and for every additional fireplace, ten pounds ; every brick or 
stone house of two stories in height, with not more than two 
fireplaces, sixty pounds, and every additional fireplace, ten 
pounds ; every grist-mill run by water, with one pair of stones, 
one hundred and fifty pounds, and every additional pair, fifty 
pounds ; every saw mill, one hundred pounds ; every merchant's 
shop, two hundred pounds ; every store-house, two hundred 
pounds ; every horse of the age of three years and upwards, 
eight pounds; oxen of the age of" four years and upwards, 
each four pounds ; milch cows, three pounds ; horned cattle- 


from the age of two to four years, twenty shillings ; every 
close carriage with four wheels, kept for pleasure, one hundred 
pounds ; every open carriage with four wheels, kept for 
pleasure only, twenty-five pounds; every two- wheel vehicle, 
kept for pleasure, twenty pounds ; and every wagon kept for 
pleasure, fifteen pounds." 

In 1815 the Legislature voted 2,000 for building a jail and 
court-house at Vittoria, and, in 1823, the justices were author- 
ized to borrow 1,000 to complete it. In 1826 it was destroyed 
by fire, and the district town was established at London. 

Charlotte ville was the centre of population in the early years 
of the settlement. For some reason, in 1809, there was no 
town meeting held in the township ; and the justices in session 
had to take the matter in hand, as shown by the following 
entry : 

" There having been no town meeting held in and for the 
Township of Charlotteville according to law, on the 6th day of 
March, 1809, the Court do appoint the following town officers : 
Town clerk, John Kern ; assessors, John Kern and Francis L. 
Walsh ; collector, Silas Montross ; pound-keepers, Robert Hen- 
derson and Robert Monroe ; town wardens, John Stone and 
Titus Finch ; overseers of roads, John Loder, Moses Rice, Silas 
Montross, Job Loder, Platt Wood, Daniel McCall, jun., Robert 
McCracken and Richard Lanning." 

To show how the township clerks earned their pay in 
pioneer times, the following entry, dated June llth, 1806, will 
suffice : 

"It is ordered (by the squires, of course) that the several 
town clerks within this London District, in future, and includ- 
ing the present year, to receive five shillings lawful money of 
this Province, for each hundred names which shall be contained 
in the population by them made out and to be made out, pro- 
vided such population roll or rolls be made up carefully and in 
due time." 

In these primitive times it did not require a large box to 
hold the public cash. On June 13th, 1805, the following 
minute went on record : 


" District treasurer's account examined and approved 
except one certificate for a wolf's head, which he promised to 
account for. Cash in the treasury, 1 18s. lid" 

In pioneer times bounties were paid for wolves' heads, and 
when there was no cash in the treasury the bounties were paid 
with " certificates," which were made a legal tender for the pay- 
ment of all public dues. As late as 1836 the bounty paid for a 
wolf's head with the ears on was 1 10s. Qd. It is no wonder 
that many settlers in the back townships paid for their lands 
with " wolf's-head certificates." 

As the revenues of the Province increased, legislative grants, 
for the opening of roads and building of bridges became larger 
in amount and more wide-reaching in their application. Of 
the sum apportioned to London District, in the grant of 1807, 
the Justices in Session at Turkey Point ordered 50 thereof to 
be applied in the Township of Westminster, and 150 to be 
laid out on the north side of the River Thames, so as to meet 
the provincial road through the Western District. Joseph 
Ryerson was allowed five pounds for carrying this money up 
from York. 

Our grandfathers looked upon old-fashioned legal phrase- 
ology with a sort of superstitious awe, and hence we find their 
old contracts and business papers encumbered with a jargon of 
superfluous words and phrases. The following is a sample : 

" Received of Joseph Tisdale in full of all Dues, Debts and 
Demands, from the beginning of the world, down to this date, 
as witnessing my hand. " JAS. CHITTENDON. 

" Amherstburg, 28th November, 1804." 

The oldest town minutes of the township of Charlotteville, 
which have been preserved, are those of 1836, the last year of 
Norfolk's history as a part of London District. At this town 
meeting, which was held at Lamport's tavern, Vittoria, Daniel 
McCall was chosen chairman, and the assembled freeholders 
elected the following parish or township officers : John Bell, 
town clerk ; Walter Anderson, Joseph Kitchen and Joseph 


Anderson, town commissioners ; Ephraim Tisdale, assessor and 
collector ; Ephraim Tisdale and Murdoch McLennan, pound- 
keepers ; and Ephraim Tisdale, Benjamin Palmerston and Chris- 
topher Kern, fence viewers. Of the twenty-five pathmasters 
elected, not one survives the late Thomas Hart being the last 
one. The electors determined a lawful fence for the ensuing 
year, as follows : Height, four feet and six inches, to be staked 
or locked. The running at large of domestic animals was 
voted as follows ; Boars, rams and entire horses over two years 
of age prohibited ; " all horned cattle not prohibited." Pound- 
keepers' fees and duties were defined as follows : For impound- 
ing horses and horned cattle, one shilling per head, each to be 
fed thirty pounds of hay per day, and watered twice each day ; 
fee for feeding, per head, sixpence ; and for delivery, per head, 
one shilling. The assessor's roll at this meeting gave the popu- 
lation of the township as 856 males and 722 females. 

In 1838 a general law was enacted regulating the appoint- 
ment and duties of township officers, but the old-time powers 
of the Justices in Session were retained. Indeed, under this 
" modern " Act a town meeting could not even be held without 
the clerk having first obtained a warrant from the Justices of 
the Peace. The only thing in the Act pointing to the coming 
municipal system was the provision made for three additional 
township officers, termed " Town Wardens." The Act provided 
that these wardens " and their successors duly appointed, shall 
be a corporation to represent the whole inhabitants of the 
township for which they are town wardens, and as such, may 
have and hold the property of, or belonging to, the township, 
and shall and may sue, prosecute or defend, in all present- 
ments, indictments or actions for and on behalf of the said 
township." They were also constituted a sort of court of 
appeal for persons who felt aggrieved on account of statute 
labor exactions on the part of the overseers of highways. 
With this exception the authority of the Justices in Session was 
not materially lessened by the Act. In this same year the 
Justices of Talbot District were authorized to levy an additional 


assessment to liquidate the cost of the new jail and court- 
house at Simcoe, which the creation of the new district in 1837 
made necessary. In 1826 the townships of Walpole and Rain- 
ham were annexed to the County of Haldimand, and Norfolk 
became Talbot District, with the same territory it has at present. 

The first Talbot District Council, under the District Council 
Act, convened at Simcoe, February 8th, 1842, and consisted of 
nine members : Israel Wood Powell (warden), Walter Ander- 
son, Thomas Backhouse, John B. Crouse, Nelson Eagles, James 
L. Green, Lawrence H. Hunt, Jesse Millard and Peter O'Carr. 
Mr. Powell was not elected warden by his fellow councillors ; 
he received the wardenship by letters patent under the great 
seal of the Province, signed by Sir Richard Downes Jackson, 
K.C.B., administrator of the Government. The document was 
dated at Kingston, December 23rd, 1841. 

These first District Councillors were not only loyal, but they 
felt the dignity of their position, as evidenced by the wording 
of one of the forty rules drafted at this first session. In effect 
it provided that no councillor should speak disrespectfully of 
the Queen, the Royal Family, or those in authority ; nor should 
they, use " unmannerly or indecent language against the pro- 
ceedings of the council or against particular councillors." Dr. 
Crouse championed the cause of education, and before the 
session ended the townships were divided into school sections as 
follows: Townsend, nineteen ; Windham, ten; Middleton, four ; 
Charlotteville, eleven ; Woodhouse and Gore, including Simcoe, 
eleven ; Walsingham, six ; and Houghton, three sections. Many 
requests were made for roads and bridges, and numerous 
applications made for the position of clerk. Three names were 
presented to the Governor for choice, with the understanding 
that whoever was chosen must be a resident of Simcoe on or 
before the first of May following. 

A statute labor bill was passed, which became law on 
February 12th, 1842 ; and the preparation of an address of 
welcome to the new Governor- General, Sir Charles Bagot, 
G.C.B., closed this first session of the Talbot District Council. 


At the second session Frederick Thomas Wilkes received the 
appointment of clerk, and Axford Bowlby took a seat in the 
council as representative from Woodhouse, in place of John 
Decew, deceased. These district councils came to an end in 
1849, when Norfolk became once more the County of Norfolk, 
and the County and Township Municipal system came into 

The first Municipal Council of the County of Norfolk, con- 
vened on Monday, January 28th, 1850, being composed of nine 
members John Becker Grouse, reeve of Woodhouse, warden ; 
Israel Wood Powell, deputy-reeve of Woodhouse ; Thomas W. 
Clark, reeve of Townsend ; Oliver Blake, deputy-reeve of 
Townsend ; Lawrence H. Hunt, reeve of Windham ; Simpson 
McCall, reeve of Charlotteville ; Roger Crysler, reeve of 
Middleton ; Titus Williams, reeve of Walsingham, and Peter 
Coughell, reeve of Houghton. Stephen J. Fuller was the first 
county clerk. 

The warden was sworn into office by the district judge, 
William Salmon. 

In 1851 Simcoe was represented in the council by N. C. 
Ford, the first reeve. At this second council Lawrence H. 
Hunt was elected warden, an honor which was conferred upon 
him for five consecutive years. He was elected the sixth year, 
but declined in favor of Walker Powell. Mr. Fuller died dur- 
ing this term, and James Ermatinger became the second clerk. 
In 1857 Aquila Walsh was returned reeve of Simcoe, and 
Simpson McCall was elected warden. 

Since 1857 the warden's chair has been occupied as follows : 
1858, Daniel Matthews, Windham; 1859-60, Simpson Mc- 
Call, Charlotteville; 1861, Peter Young, Charlotteville; 1862- 
63-64, Wm. M. Wilson, Simcoe; 1865-66-67-68-69-70, D. 
Matthews, Windham; 1871, Jacob Sovereign, Middleton; 
1872-73, Dr. John Wilson, Simcoe; 1874-75, Jacob Sovereign, 
Middleton; 1876-77, Dr. John Wilson, Simcoe; 1878-79, Wm. 
Wilson, Simcoe ; 1880-81, Thpmas W. Walsh, Simcoe ; 1882, 
John Ostrander, Middleton; 1883, D. A. McCall, Charlotte- 


ville; 1884, Wm. Dawson, Charlotteville ; 1885, Charles- 
Dickison, Houghton ; 1886, Ozias Ansley, Woodhouse; 1887, 
Dr. Tweedale, Walsingham; 1888, Eoger Crysler, Middleton; 
1889-90, L. L. Sovereign, Waterford ; 1891, R. M. Wilson,, 
Windham; 1892, H. W. Ansley, Port Dover; 1893, J. G. 
Wyckoff, Townsend; 1894, J. Cope, Walsingham; 1895, 
J. D. Clement, Windham ; 1896, O. Hendry, Simcoe. 

The year 1896 was the last year under the old Municipal 
Act system. The present council (1897) came into existence by 
virtue of an Act which divides the county into five divisions 
numbered and styled " County Council Divisions," each being 
entitled to two representatives elected by the people. The old 
council had increased to twenty-five members, while in the 
new there are only ten. The new members and the divisions 
they represent, are as follows : 

Dr. T. Snider and Wm. Shearer, for Division No. 1, includ- 
ing Townsend and Waterford. 

James Leask and Geo. Brown, for Division No. 2, including 
Windham and Delhi. 

Dr. J. M. Tweedale and W. Kelley, for Division No. 3,. 
including Middleton, North Walsingham and Houghton. 

Wm. Dawson and W. H. Anderson, for Division No. 4,. 
including South Walsingham and Charlotteville. 

Oliver Austin and H. W. Ansley, for Division No. 5,, 
including Woodhouse and Simcoe. 

Geo. Brown, of Division No. 2, died before the new council 

Dr. Tweedale became the first warden under the present- 



IF all our old pioneers had multiplied themselves as rapidly 
as Ezra Parney and his son William did, the sons of " Glorious 
Old Norfolk" would have a cinch, to-day, on every inhabitable 
portion of the civilized globe. The great American Republic 
would be peopled with our own kindred, and the fertile regions 
of our own great North- West would not be beckoning to over- 
crowded Europe for people to come in and occupy the land, as 
it is now doing. But it is better for future generations yet 
unborn that all of our old pioneers were not so blessed. 

The Parney family is one of the old families of Townsend. 
Ezra Parney was one of the few pioneers who had established 
a home in that township when the present century dawned 
upon the world. The Parneys are of Irish descent, and when 
Ezra was born into the world, in 1780, the family name was 
" Penny," but through some caprice, the reason of which does 
not appear, the name was changed to Parney. 

The original Job Slaght lived in the Niagara District 
several years before he came up to Norfolk with his family, 
and it was while living there that Mr. Parney became 
acquainted with them; and when they moved up in 1797, 
Ezra Parney, who was seventeen years old, came with them. 
Subsequently he married Elizabeth, daughter of Job Slaght, 
and settled on land donated to her by her father, located on 
the Waterford road, in the 5th concession of Townsend. 

It is just a hundred years since Ezra Parney came into the 


woods of Townsend, a seventeen-year-old boy, kinless and 
moneyless, to chop out a way for himself. He was brave, 
industrious, patient and persevering ; and the record of his 
busy life's work shows how well he succeeded. He it was who 
cleared off the ground whereon was built the first Waterford 
mill, and as he had learned the blacksmithing business in his 
younger days, he was one of the first, if, indeed, not the first, 
to ply that trade in old Townsend. His home, north of Water- 
ford, was a well-known place in the early times. It was 
located on the main line of settlement, and in addition to his 
blacksmithing work he kept a house of entertainment for 
travellers. He was a quiet, industrious man, and had no crav- 
ing for public positions. The old court journal shows that he 
was appointed constable for Townsend and Windham in 1802. 

Ezra Parney had seventeen children all by one mother, 
fourteen of whom grew up and, with one exception, mar- 
ried. There were seven sons William, John, Henry, Cor- 
nelius, Aaron, Vincent and David ; and seven daughters 
Abigail, Elizabeth, Nancy, Mahala, Amanda, Emily and 
Charity. The old pioneer died in 1865, in his 86th year, 
having survived his wife nine years, she having died in 1856, 
in her 72nd year. 

William, eldest son of Ezra, was born in 1802. He learned 
the blacksmithing trade in his father's shop, and married Mary 
McMichael, and settled near the old homestead. He was the 
father of twenty-two children, which, added to those of his 
father, make a grand total of thirty -nine. No other family in 
Norfolk can show a record like this ; indeed, it is doubtful 
whether any family in Ontario can beat this record. There 
were two mothers in William's family ; by the first wife he 
had seven sons Ezra, James, Richard, William, Eli, Freeman 
and Leamon; and three daughters Mary, Jane and Rosa- 
mond. William and Mary were twins. By his second wife, 
Mary Buck, he had seven sons John, Louis, Elias, Warren, 
Lyman, Charles and Walter; and three daughters Caroline 
Amanda and Abigail. Two, whose names are not given, died 


young. The father of this large family died in 1872, in his 
71st year. 

John, second son of Ezra, was born in 1805. He married 
Ellen Lane, and settled in Townsend. He had one son, Wesley r 
and one daughter, Rhoda. He died in 1888, in his 84th year. 

Henry, third son of Ezra, was born in 1809, married Ann 
Armstead, and settled in Townsend. He had one son, David, 
who succeeded to the homestead. Henry died in 1873, in his 
65th year. 

Cornelius, fourth son of Ezra, met with a tragical, death. 
He went hunting, and failing to return, a search was instituted, 
which resulted in the finding of his dead body in the woods, 
with his rifle lying beside it. A bullet wound was discovered 
in the back of the head, and his rifle had not been discharged ; 
and as it was known that he had a bitter enemy, it was sup- 
posed that he met foul play. He died single. 

Aaron, fifth son of Ezra, was born in 1817, married Nancy 
Messacar, settled in Townsend, and had one daughter, Adelaide. 
He died in 1887, in his 71st year. 

Vincent, sixth son of Ezra, was born in 1819, married Esther 
Forest, settled in Walsingham, and had one daughter, Amanda. 
He was a pioneer school teacher, and died in 1881, in his 63rd 

David, youngest son of Ezra, married Elinor Wymer, and 
settled on the old homestead. He had one son, Dufferin, and 
two daughters Sarah and Roxey. 

Abigail, eldest daughter of Ezra, married Philip Beemer. 
Her children are enumerated in the Beemer genealogy. She 
died in 1890, in her 84th year. 

Elizabeth, second daughter of Ezra, married William Slaght. 
Her children are enumerated in the Slaght genealogy. 

Nancy, third daughter of Ezra, married Squire Corliss. Her 
children are enumerated in the Corliss genealogy. 

Mahala fourth daughter of Ezra, married Richard McMichael. 

O ' 

Her children are enumerated in the McMichael genealogy. She 
died in 1893, in her 83rd year. 


Amanda, fifth daughter of Ezra, married William Lutes, the 
old carriage-builder of Lutesville. She had two sons Charles 
and David ; and one daughter, Emily. Mrs. Lutes died in 1876, 
in her 5 7th year. 

Emily, sixth daughter of Ezra, married Levi Messacar, and 
settled in Townsend. She had one son, Louis, and one daughter, 

Charity, youngest daughter of Ezra, married William Cole, 
and settled in Oxford. 



ONE hundred and one years ago the first Timothy Culver 
settled in Norfolk. Since that time many Timothy Culvers 
have been inscribed on Norfolk's voters' lists. In fact, there 
has not been a generation of Culvers, from the original Tim- 
othy down to the present time, that did not have its full quota 
of Timothys, and it would puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer to 
describe the various degrees of consanguinity existing between 
the descendants of any one Timothy and those of another. 

But it is the old original Timothy Culver and his wife 
that form the subject of this sketch. As before stated, more 
than .a century has elapsed since this old pioneer built his log 
cabin in Norfolk, yet he had previously made two visits to 
the new settlement. The Jabez Culver families came to the 
new country in 1794, and Timothy, who was first cousin to 
Jabez, came to visit them in their new homes. He made the 
long journey on foot, and not being fully satisfied, he made a 
second visit, accompanied by his wife. They walked from New 
Jersey to the new settlement in Norfolk and back, making a 
round-trip walk, mostly through forests, of more than a thou- 
sand miles. What a herculean task for a wife and mother to 
perform ! What a wonderful story it would be if the incidents 
of each day's experience during that long, tedious and dangerous 
journey were minutely written down ! The staff, which was 
the only weapon of defence carried by the old pioneer, has been 
carefully preserved, and is at present the property of Timothy 
Culver, of Waterford. It is nearly five feet in length, and 


made of a rare old New Jersey shrub. It has a large brass 
head, globular in form, and its lower end is fitted to a sharp- 
pointed steel tip, about six inches in length. While tramping 
through the forest they were attacked by a hungry wolf. The 
brute advanced with open mouth, and Mr. Culver pinned it to 
the earth by thrusting his spear, or staff rather, down the 
animal's throat. 

Three daughters of this pioneer father and mother married 
three sons of Jabez Culver in New Jersey before they came to 
Canada, and hence the motive which prompted this hazardous 
undertaking may be readily understood. The New Jersey 
home circle had been broken, and three of their daughters had 
gone to an unknown region of wilderness, and it was a desire to 
learn something of their destiny that sent the brave mother off 
through the forest on foot. Their visit was made in the fall of 
1795, and Mr. Culver was very much pleased with a patch of 
turnips which his son-in-law, Aaron Culver, had grown that 
season in his little clearing. He concluded that land which 
would produce such fine turnips must be good land, and he 
determined to bring out the rest of his family and settle in the 
new country himself. They came the following season with 
all their personal belongings, and erected a log cabin on land 
drawn from the Government. In 1801 he purchased Lot 1, 
12th concession of Townsend, from Gideon Cooley, paying 
83 4s. Od. for it. 

Timothy Culver had three sons Nesbitt, Timothy and 
Ebenezer ; and five daughters Anna, Elizabeth, Miriam, 
Martha and Eunice. The first three of these daughters came 
to Canada in advance of their parents as the wives, respectively, 
of Jabez, jun., Aaron and John Culver. The three sisters had 
married three brothers in New Jersey, and when the family 
came, the fourth sister, Martha, married a fourth brother, 
Gabriel Culver. And it is said the fifth sister, Eunice, and a 
fifth brother Benjamin Culver were engaged to be married, 
but owing to his dissipated habits the engagement was broken 
off. Eunice married Abraham Beemer, and subsequently 


William Schuyler. The jilted Benjamin turned his back on his 
kindred, and settled in the new State of Ohio, where he died 
single. These inter-marriages between the families of Jabez 
and Timothy Culver were quite without the ordinary course 
of events in our old family genealogies, and as all four unions 
were pioneer heads of large and important families, they are 
treated of in a special sketch entitled, "The Double-Culver 

Nesbitt Culver, eldest son of Timothy, married into the 
Bacon family, and settled on the Townsend side of the settle- 
ment. He had three sons Robert, Nesbitt and Clark; 
and two daughters Eunice and Patty. ROBERT, the eldest 
son in this family, died in 1871, in his 72nd year. Nesbitt 
Culver, the father of the family, died in 1813, in his 40th 

Timothy Culver, second son of Timothy, married Mary 
Kern, and settled on the Townsend side of the settlement. He 
had five sons Ebenezer, Samuel, Timothy, Lewis and David ; 
and eight daughters Patty, Charity, Catherine, Elizabeth, 
Esther, Mary Jane, Sarah Ann and Lizana. 

Ebenezer, youngest son of Timothy, married Elizabeth 
Kern and settled on the Townsend side of the settlement. He 
had two daughters Martha Ann and Eveline. 




AMONG the original log-cabin builders of this old Long 
Point country were two Samuel Browns one of Charlotteville 
and the other of Walsingham. It is just one hundred years 
ago this very year (1897) since Samuel Brown, of Walsingham, 
came into the Norfolk Wilderness. He finally settled on Lot 
22, and built his pioneer cabin on the lake shore just above 
Cope's Landing. The deed for this land bears date May 20th, 
1802, and is a Government patent. 

It is said this old family are of English descent. Among 
the old family papers which have been preserved is an old deed 
showing that the ancestor of Samuel Brown came to America 
in old colonial times, and settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
The James Brown mentioned in the deed was probably the 
grandfather of Samuel, and possibly of Charlotteville Samuel 
also. There is a similarity of names in the two families, and 
so far as the fragmentary scraps of their family history are 
concerned, there is nothing in the way of assuming that such is 
the case. The deed is a rare old document, and is deserving of 
a reproduction in connection with this sketch. The following 
is a copy, verbatim : 

" Bee it Known unto all Men by these Presents That We, 
James Swinerton and Benjamin Swinerton, both of Salem, in 
the County of Essex, in the Province of the Massachussets Bay 
in New England, Husbandmen, For and in consideration of the 
Sume of Eighty Pounds, Province Bills of Credit to Us in hand 
paid, or secure to be paid, by James Brown of Salem, in the 
county and province aforesaid, Husbandman, wherewith we 


confess ourselves fully satisfied, contented and paid, Have bar- 
gained and sold, and by these Presents do Fully, cheerly and 
absolutely bargaine & sell enfeof and confirme unto the said 
James Brown aforesaid, a piece or parcel of land Situate 
in the Township of Salem, in a place commonly knowne 
by the name of the Northfield, Butted and Bounded as 
followeth Easterly Forty-three Rods & half on John Hig- 
ginson, Southerly Twenty Rods & half on John Loomis 
arid John Watters, Westerly Thirty-five Rods & half on 
Jonathan Flint, Northerly on John Jacobs. To Have and 
to Hold the aforesaid piece or parcel of land which con- 
tains Eleven acres, be it more or less, with all our Right, Title 
and Interest therein, with all the Profits, Privileges and Appur- 
tenances in anywise thereto belonging, unto the said James 
Brown, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns, for 
Ms and their own proper use and behoof e forever, free and clear 
without any manner of Reclaime or Contradiction of Us, the 
.said James and Benjamin Swinerton, our Heirs, Executors and 
Administrators, the said Eleven acres of land aforesaid unto 
the said James Brown, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators 
and Assigns, against all manner of persons whatsoever shall 
and will Warrant, Acquit and forever Defend by vertew of 
these Presents. 

" In Witness whereof, We have hereunto set our Hands and 
Seals, with our Wives, who took acquit their Right of Thirds 
or Dower in ye abovementioned Eleven acres of land, Saleth 
the Fourteen Day of June, in ye Ninth year of his Majesty's 
Reign George, etc., Annoquo Dommini, 1723. 

"Signed, Sealed and Delivered \ " The mark of 

in Presence of us, ("JAMES x SWINERTON. 

" DANIEL LING, C " The mark of 


<c Witnesses for Sarah Swin- 
erton, " The mark of 

It is said Samuel Brown was a Loyalist, but the oldest 
living members of the family in Norfolk know nothing of the 
history of their Norfolk ancestor previous to his settlement 
here, or of his pioneer experiences in Walsingham a hundred 


years ago. It is a pity that so many of our old pioneers are 
debarred forever from contributing their quota of information 
in the great story of pioneer life in Norfolk. " Oh, if I had 
noted down the stories of pioneer life so oft repeated by the 
old folks ! " is what we hear in too many of our modern homes. 
But the old arm-chairs have long since become vacant. They 
have been stowed away in some cobwebbed recess of the garret, 
among the trumpery of a dead and forgotten past, and the tales 
of bush life which the old folks never tired of rehearsing, and 
which fell as discordant sounds upon ears attuned to a modern 
life of ease and comfort, were lost forever. The fact that we 
fail to appreciate a source of information until we no longer 
have access to it, is a law of our being. We cannot justly appre- 
ciate that which we never felt the loss of. 

It is said that Mr. Brown served in the commissariat 
department of some loyal troops during the war of the Revolu- 
tion. He was married three times. His third wife, Mrs. 
Joshua Hoy, nee Phoebe Purdick, had a family of six or seven 
children by a former marriage, and these children, together 
with his own, including himself and wife, made a family of 
twenty-four members. This was the largest family in Wal- 
singham, and was known by the old pioneers as the " Four-and- 
twenty family." It is said that the descendants of this family 
outnumber, in the Province of Ontario, those of any other 
pioneer family of Norfolk. They are widely scattered through- 
out the province, and, owing to their inherited love for the Old 
Flag and the institutions it represents, only a small proportion 
have traded off their Canada birthrights for messes of Yankee 

Much difficulty was encountered in learning the names of 
this numerous and mixed family. There were twenty-two 
children, it is said, but the names of only twenty-one are 
given ; and as these were dictated from memory by Samuel's 
youngest son, who is now a feeble old man, the family genealogy 
as given here may not be absolutely correct. 

Samuel Brown had two children by his first wife Samuel 


and Rachel. By his second wife he had seven sons Joshua, 
George, Eli, Abraham, Moses, Tyler and William ; and two 
daughters Mabel and Elizabeth. By his third wife he had 
two sons Isaac and Peter; and two daughters Phoebe and 
Emily. Mrs. Brown the third, by her former marriage with 
Joshua Hoy, had one son, Joshua, and five daughters Annie, 
Elizabeth, Lury, Almira and Lucy. 

Samuel, eldest son of Samuel, never married. He settled 
on the St. Clair River in an early day and lived and died there. 

Rachel, only daughter of Samuel by his first wife, married 
a man named Fonger, and settled near Hamilton. 

Joshua, son of Samuel by the second wife, settled at first 
near Tilsonburg, but subsequently the family settled in one of 
the northern counties. 

Mabel, daughter of Samuel by his second wife, married 
Samuel Smith, and settled on land upon which a portion of the 
city of St. Thomas is built. 

Elizabeth, full sister of Mabel, married Joseph Darby, and 
settled near Hamilton. 

George, full brother of Mabel, settled on Talbot Street, near 
New Sarum, where he raised a family. 

Eli, full brother of Mabel, married Staley Dustan, and 
settled in Dorchester, where he raised a family. 

Abraham, full brother of Mabel, married Electa Dustan, and 
settled in Houghton. By this union he had two sons Enoch 
and George; and one daughter, Electa. Subsequently he 
married a second wife, by whom he had one or two daughters. 

Moses, twin brother of Abraham, married Sarah Treadwell, 
and settled near the old home. He had four sons Josiah, 
Alfred, Abraham and Stephen Henry ; and five daughters 
Emeline, Mary Jane, Mandy, Julia Ann and Louisa. The 
mother is living with her daughter, Mrs. Charles Brando w, of 

Tyler, full brother of Mabel, married Sarah Fick, and 
settled on part of the old homestead. He had two sons Louis 
and Leonard; and two daughters Elizabeth and Nancy. 
Louis succeeded to the homestead. 


William, full brother of Mabel, settled in the States. 

Isaac, eldest son of Samuel by his third wife, was born in 
1808, married Harriet Smith, and settled on part of the old 
homestead. He had nine sons Willard, Henry, Samuel, Peter, 
Isaac, Emerson, Albert, George and Isaiah ; and five daughters 
Matilda, Lucy, Sarah, Rebecca and Harriet. There were 
fourteen children in this family, and excepting Sarah they 
all grew up, married and settled in Walsingham. 

Peter, full brother of Isaac, married Rebecca Smith, and 
settled in the 2nd concession of Walsingham, and is still living. 
He had no children. 

Phoebe, full sister of Isaac, married Timothy Abbott, and 
settled near Port Royal. She had four sons Robert, Daniel, 
Jacob and Peter ; and a number of daughters. 

Emily, full sister of Isaac, and youngest daughter of 
Samuel, married Edward Bowan, and settled in Burford, where 
she raised a family. 

Joshua Hoy, only son of Mrs. Brown by her former husband,, 
died single. 

Annie Hoy married Abraham Smith, and settled on the St.. 
Clair River. 

Elizabeth Hoy married Brinton Brown, and settled in 
Dereham, on the site of the present village of Brownsville. 
When they settled here it was a wet, miry, densely-timbered 
section of wilderness, and when he reached the afternoon of 
life he used to tell his grandchildren how the bull-frogs called 
for old Brown and his boys from miry water-holes that now 
form beautiful and fertile fields and village gardens. 

Lury Hoy married Edward, eldest son of Elias Foster, the 
old Walsingham pioneer. Her children are enumerated in the 
Foster genealogy. 

Almira Hoy married Samuel Harper, and settled on Talbot 
Street, in the Township of Malahide. 

Lucy Hoy, the twenty-third member named in this family 
of " four-and-twenty," married James Carpenter, and settled in 



PROMINENT among the old families of Walsingham are the 
Fosters. In every quality essential to the development of a 
virtuous and prosperous community of home-dwellers and 
home- owners, the Fosters are not excelled by any of our old 
families ; and, like some of the other old families, are fondly 
attached to the home neighborhood. Almost within sight of 
the very spot where the ancestral log-cabin stood are several 
Foster homes, noted for their refining influences and hearty 
hospitality. In this contiguity in the work of home-building, 
the Fosters evince a love for the environment of home and 
an affection for each other two highly-commendable family 

It was during the first year of the present dying century 
that Elias and Mary Foster set up their pioneer home in the 
wilds of Walsingham. It was the first cabin erected west of 
Big Creek, and was located near the marsh on the front of Lot 
5, about two miles west of Port Royal. They came to Long 
Point in 1800, but remained the first season near Port Rowan. 
After Mr. Foster located his land, he went up with his two 
sons, who were quite young lads, and cleared a small plot of 
ground and erected a cabin. Leaving the boys with a cow and 
a small quantity of corn, he returned for the remainder of his 
family and household effects. Adverse circumstances prevented 
his returning for several days, and during this time Edward 
and Daniel B. Foster had such an experience of pioneer life that 
fell to the lot of but few boys in the early settlement of Long 


Point country. They were mere children, alone in a dense 
forest, and with cows' milk and a little Indian corn as their only 
source of supply. The corn was crushed with an axe on a 
hard-wood stump, and the crushed grain soaked with milk and 
eaten. They were brave little fellows, and it is no wonder that 
Edward, the elder, who was but nine years old at the time, 
became a famous hunter and a terror to the wild beasts of 
Walsingham when he grew into manhood. 

The American grandancestor of the Foster family was a 
native of Amsterdam, Holland ; and it is said the property 
which he owned in that city, and which he sold at a mere 
nominal sum when he came to America, has become very valu- 
able owing to changes brought about in the improvement of 
the old city. 

The Fosters settled in Long Island, and when the colonies 
threw off their allegiance to the British Crown, Elias Foster 
was a young man. His sympathies being on the side of the 
King, he left the Island and migrated to New Brunswick, 
settling at a place about nine miles from Fredericton. He was 
twice married, but whether he married his first wife before 
leaving Long Island does not appear. He was left a widower 
in New Brunswick with a number of children, and he married 
his second wife in that province. One daughter by his first 
wife married David Millard, and settled near St. Catharines, 
but aside from this the Norfolk Fosters know but little about 
the first wife's children. 

In 1800 Mr. Foster came with his second family to Long 
Point settlement, consisting of two sons Edward and 
David B.; and two daughters Lucy and Harriet. The eldest 
was about eight years old, and, it is said, all were born in New 
Brunswick. On the 25th day of June, 1803, the old pioneer 
took the oath of a Justice of the Peace and occupied a seat on 
the judicial bench at that term of the old London District 
Court of Quarter Sessions, and in the following March he was 
appointed Justice of the Court of Requests for the Township of 
Walsingham. The old foundation-builder died in about 1833, 
having reached a good age. 


Edward Foster, elder son of Elias by his second wife, was 
born in 1792, in the New Brunswick home. His boyhood days 
were spent in the wilds of Walsingham before the war of 1812 
became an historical fact. He was resolute and fearless, and 
possessed an irony constitution. In all his varied experiences 
of bush life there was but one occasion when every hair on his 
head stood straight up on end, and that was when he came in 
contact with the only pure white bear ever seen in the forests 
of Norfolk. 

In the early years of the settlement the marshy meadow- 
lands at the mouth of Clear Creek were utilized by the settlers 
as a common pasture ground for their cattle. The grass grew 
luxuriantly, and where it was not mowed the cattle were able 
to pick their living to a greater or less extent during the 
winter season. It was the custom for some young member of 
the family to look after the cattle, and when Edward met with 
his hair-lifting experience he was about sixteen years old and 
thus engaged. While returning from the marsh one day he 
came upon the prostrate trunk of an immense hollow tree. 
The ground was covered with snow, which was well packed all 
about the large opening in the tree, and he noticed a number 
of rabbit tracks in the snow, and concluded that the hollow 
tree contained a rabbit's nest. A short distance above was 
a smaller hole, and placing his dog at this opening to head 
off escape, he crawled into the hollow tree through the larger 
opening, and proceeded in search of the rabbits. As he crept 
along he came to a large recess in the hollow, when he was 
startled by the snapping of a massive pair of jaws and the 
glittering of two beastly eyeballs. There was a dim light in 
the passage, and in an instant the awful truth flashed upon 
his mind that he was in a bear's den. He felt the bear's hot 
breath on his bare head, and he thought well, what would a 
boy think placed in such a predicament ? Strange to say the 
bear did not attack him, and he lost no time in making his 
exit; and when he did so he blockaded the entrance with 
pieces of timber, and went home and reported his experience. 


The story was not credited, as such a thing as a white bear in 
Norfolk had never been heard of. But in the early morn- 
ing following young Foster conducted two or three neigh- 
bors to the place, and after a short but vigorous attack the 
bear, which proved to be pure white and of massive propor- 
tions, was driven from his citadel and killed. At this time 
ammunition was very scarce in the Walsingham woods, and 
when young Foster was caught in close quarters his tomahawk 
and faithful dog were his principal means of defence. What 
an interesting volume of thrilling anecdotes it would make for 
the boys of Norfolk to-day, if young Ned Foster's adventures 
in the swamps and forests of south Walsingham had all been 
carefully written down. His remarkable intrepidity in the 
moment of peril not only helped him out of inevitable difficul- 
ties, but it got him into many a close corner that a less- 
courageous youth would have avoided. Bruin had no terrors 
for Ned Foster. He delighted in teasing a she bear by playing* 
with her cubs, trusting to his faithful dog " Gunner " and his- 
own nerve for safety. Although bears were very common it- 
was an amusement fraught with danger, and on more that one 
occasion the brave young pioneer came near losing his life. 

When the war of 1812 broke out, Edward was about 
twenty years old. He enlisted and served in the Commissariat 
Department ; and when the surviving veterans were enrolled on 
the pension lists of 1876-77, he was one of the bounty recipi- 
ents. Three years after the war closed he married Lury Hoy,, 
and settled on the homestead. From the close of the war to- 
the middle of the century, Ned Foster was one of the busiest 
and best known men in the township of Walsingham. The old 
homestead is one of the best farms in the county, and Mr. 
Foster and his boys brought it to a high state of cultivation 
and material worth. In the days when " Ned " Foster was a 
terror to wild cats, a rat-skin was a " coin of the realm." Its- 
value fluctuated between two and three York shillings, and 
possessed an intrinsic value at all times, which made it a 
medium of exchange in business transactions. A rat-skin was 


sound money equalling, at least, an English shilling in value, and 
the marsh in front of the Foster home was literally alive with 
rats. In other words, adjoining the Foster homestead was a 
prolific mine of English shillings, and all one had to do was to 
go in, pick them up, and possess them. Mr. Foster kept fifty or 
sixty rat-traps, and it is said he caught as many as 1,700 in a 
single year. He was an expert trapper, succeeding where others 
failed. He could hold his breath while skinning a rat, and 
could average sixty an hour. He was no less an expert in the 
use of the rifle. The Foster larder was at all times abundantly 
supplied with venison, and wild game of all kinds. He believed 
that enough was as good as a feast, and yet he sometimes shot 
two deer before breakfast. After settlement along the front 
was well advanced, he built a hunting shanty on Deer Creek, 
in the llth concession, where he would camp for several days 
at a time. One night he and a neighbor, who was hunting 
with him, lost their bearing in the woods, and after wandering 
some time they came upon afti Indian hut in charge of a lone 
squaw, and they resolved to remain there until morning. The 
squaw was in a sulky mood and unable to understand a word 
of English. Late in the evening the noble red man of the 
house returned with a fine young fawn. He, too, was sulky 
and unable to understand English ; and while his squaw was 
trying to explain matters in Indian, he eyed his unwelcome 
guests with distrustful and vindictive glances. Finally the 
squaw removed her dusky lord's moccasins and washed his feet, 
after which she prepared and cooked the tender venison, 
serving " the man of the house " first, and with the choicest 
cuts. The guests were served in a manner, however, and 
remained in the shanty until morning. But Mr. Foster was not 
always fortunate enough to find a sulky Indian's shanty to 
sleep in. Many a night he lay upon the ground in the Wal- 
singham woods, guarded by his faithful dog " Gunner." The 
densely wooded hollows and ravines north of the homestead 
were infested with wild cats and wolverines ; and one year 
Mr. Foster kept a record of the number of wild cats he killed, 


but when the number reached sixty he gave up the count. It 
is said that more than a hundred bears were killed by him, and 
that the old rifle still retains its reputation as a dead shot in the 
hands of a good marksman. Mr. Foster used to tell an amusing 
story of a bear that tried to carry off two of his hogs. The 
swine had made a nest under a bridge, and one day a big bear 
made a raid on them. The squealing of the hogs attracted Mr. 
Foster's attention, and taking down his rifle he went over to 
ascertain the cause. The bear was trying to get away with a 
hog in each arm, but he could not accomplish the task. The 
hogs were good-sized ones, and every time bruin attempted to 
pick up his second victim the first would slip out of his arms. 
It was both amusing and instructive as an object lesson, being 
a clear demonstration of the fact that a bear cannot concentrate 
his mind on more than one object at a time. After enjoying 
the fun for some time, Mr. Foster added one more notch to his 
bear-killing record. 

Mr. Foster possessed a fine physique and a robust consti- 
tution. He enjoyed a good degree of health, and was endowed 
with more than the ordinary measure of strength and nerve, 
as will be shown by mentioning a hunting incident that occurred 
in his fighting days. He was returning home through the 
woods after one of his hunting expeditions, with two hind- 
quarters of venison suspended from the barrel of his rifle, which 
was thrown over his shoulder. Suddenly a deer bounded up 
very close to him, and in an instant the rifle dropped from 
his shoulder and an off-hand shot did its work just as effectively 
as would have been the case had the weapon not been freighted 
with the two quarters of venison. 

Mr. Foster took a prominent part in the municipal affairs of 
his township, leaving a public record behind him that any man 
might be reasonably excused for envying He lived to see the 
bears totally exterminated in Walsingham the last one having 
been killed about twelve years previous to his death, which 
-occurred in 1878, in his 86th year. His wife survived him six 
years, and died, also, in her 86th year. Eight of her nine 


children grew up and married, all of whom were at her bedside 
when she passed away. There were six sons in the family 
James, Edward, Isaac, Henry, Elias and Nelson; and' three 
daughters Emily J., Elizabeth and Matilda. Excepting the 
eldest and youngest, all married, and settled in the home neigh- 
borhood Nelson succeeding to the old homestead. 

Daniel B. Foster, younger son of Elias, married Elizabeth 
Beaman, and settled on the homestead. He lived to a good age, 
comparatively, and died in 1870, leaving no children. 

Lucy Foster, elder daughter of Elias, married Henry Baum- 
wart. Her family is noted in the genealogy of the Baumwart 

Harriet Foster, younger daughter of Elias, the old pioneer,, 
married John Soper, and settled in Bay ham, where she raised 
a family. 



CONSPICUOUS among the foundation-builders of "Glorious 
Old Norfolk " at the dawn of the present century was Captain 
Jonathan Williams. We find his name recorded in the old 
court journal under date of March 9th, 1802, as surety for 
Colonel Joseph Ryerson, in the sum of 60, when that gentle- 
man was appointed treasurer for London District ; and, on 
March 14th, 1804, it is recorded that Jonathan Williams was 
appointed coroner for London District. Mr. Williams was also 
one of a handful of pioneers who laid the foundation for a 
Protestant Episcopal Church of England in the County of 
Norfolk. At the first meeting called for that purpose, at Job 
Loder's tavern, at the Town of Charlotteville (Turkey Point), 
January 3rd, 1803, Mr. Williams was elected a trustee ; and 
when the first vestry was organized on Easter Monday, 1804, 
he was elected one of its seven members. 

The American grandancestor of the old Williams family of 
Norfolk, emigrated from Wales in colonial times, and settled on 
Long Island. When the war of the Revolution broke out 
most of the families on Long Island remained loyal to the 
Crown, and prominent among these was the Williams family. 
Jonathan, who had married Miss Maria Titus, of Long Island, 
and who was about twenty-four years old when the war broke 
out, enlisted in a Loyalist contingent of the British army, 
and served as captain of a company all through the war, 
receiving a wound, the marks of which he carried to his grave. 

Near the close of the century Captain Williams came to 
Long Point, and finally settled on Lot 7, 1st concession of 


Woodhouse, which he purchased of Albert Berdan. At this 
time he was about forty-nine years old, and had a family of 
seven children. When the war of 1812 broke out the Williams 
family were in comfortable circumstances. Their home was 
one of the best in the settlement, but when McArthur raided 
the county it was reduced to ashes with all its contents by the 
invader's torch. It was mid-day, and the family were seated 
at the dinner table when the American pillagers surrounded 
the home. Mrs. Williams was ordered to remove her valuables 
at once, but without waiting for the order to be complied with, 
the torch was applied, and a Loyalist home representing the 
fruits of fourteen years' patient industry in the wilds of a new 
country, together with many choice old heirlooms brought 
from the old Long Island home, were consigned to the flames. 
A mirror which was highly prized by Mrs. Williams having 
belonged to her mother in the old colonial days was saved by 
her son Isaac at her urgent request. It has been preserved, and 
is a rare old family heirloom. One chest with its contents was 
also saved, but aside from this the entire contents of the two- 
story house including a quantity of broadcloth stored for 
military uses together with the outbuildings, were totally 

Captain Williams drew a life pension for his services in the 
war of the Revolution, and after his death Mrs. Williams drew 
a pension as a soldier's widow. He died on the old Woodhouse 
homestead in about the year 1832, in his 81st year. His wife 
survived him several years, and died in her 85th year. The 
Captain had eight sons John, Titus, Elijah, Francis, Isaac, 
Charles, Henry B., and Horatio N. ; and two daughters Nancy 
and Mary. 

Nancy Williams, elder daughter of the Captaip, was born in 
Long Island, and was the first born child. She married Henry 
Bostwick, and settled at Port Dover. She had one son, Henry, 
and four daughters Maria, Clara Ann, Cornelia and Cynthia. 

Mary Williams, second daughter of the Captain, was born 
in Long Island. She married lawyer TenBroek, and settled 


in Doan's Hollow. Subsequently Mr. TenBroek settled in 
London, where he died. He was the first pioneer lawyer of 
note appearing in the early history of the settlement. In the 
TenBroek family were three sons Henry, John and Charles ;. 
and three daughters Mary Ann, Helen and Maria. 

John Williams, eldest son of the Captain, married Hetty, 
daughter of Colonel Ryerson, and was one of Norfolk's pioneer 
school teachers. He was superannuated, and settled finally in 
Houghton, where he died, leaving one son, George. 

Titus Williams, second son of the Captain, was born in 
Long Island in 1790. He and John were the only lads in the 
family who were old enough to render material aid in erecting 
the pioneer cabin home. They were the boy pioneers of the 
Williams family, and their boyhood days were marked with 
strange and thrilling adventures of bush life. When Titus was- 
only eighteen years old he received an Ensign's commission 
in the 2nd Regiment of Norfolk militia. When the war of 
1812 broke out he enlisted in one of the flank companies, and 
was appointed lieutenant. Subsequently he joined the regulars- 
under Colonel Chambers. Lieutenant Williams was at Detroit 
with General Brock at the time of Hull's surrender, and he 
was placed in charge of the force that conveyed the officers 
captured at Detroit to Fort George. Owing to a disaffection 
among those operating the ferry on the Grand River, he was. 
given a detail of thirty men and placed in control of ferry 
transportation. While thus engaged a number of American 
sympathizers conspired to capture his force, but being warned 
he made good his escape. He was promoted to a captaincy, 
and was at the battle of Fort Erie ; and while falling back to- 
Chippewa with his company, succeeded in capturing Captain 
King, and thirty Americans. Captain Williams was taken 
prisoner while attempting to procure a quantity of flour which 
had been buried at the Sugar Loaf mill, and sent to Philadel- 
phia. While en route he and his fellow prisoners were detained 
at different points, Pittsfield, Mass., being one of them. While 
at this place he was confined with a number of officers taken 


prisoners at Philipsburg, and the treatment accorded them by 
the Americans was of such an exasperating nature that Captain 
Williams lost control of himself, and, seizing an axe, chopped 
down the Liberty pole. For this act he was placed in close 
confinement ; and it was fortunate for him that he was, for the 
populace were very much excited and would, no doubt, have 
taken the matter into their own hands had he not been closely 

During the war there had been more or less desertions 
from the British army, and some of these deserters had been 
taken in arms and executed. By way of retaliation, twenty- 
three British prisoners, including Captain Williams, were 
imprisoned at Philadelphia and condemned to die, in case the 
British Government failed to apologize for its manner of treat- 
ing deserters. The feeling subsided, however, and the Captain 
was liberated May 18th, and July 5th he arrived home. He 
was immediately appointed adjutant of the 4th Regiment of 
militia, remaining with that regiment until after the battle of 
Lundy's Lane. He was next promoted to a commanding posi- 
tion in a force of regulars stationed in Norfolk, and when the 
regiment was ordered home to recruit, the Colonel offered him 
a captaincy in it, but he declined the commission. During the 
remaining months of the war he served at Fort Norfolk as 
quartermaster and paymaster. After the war he held a posi- 
tion in the Norfolk militia as major, and afterwards as colonel, 
until incapacitated by the infirmities of old age. A detailed 
account of Colonel William's military career during the war of 
1812, dictated and partially written by himself in his old age, 
is published in the County Atlas. 

Col, Titus Williams was twice married. By his first wife, 
Elizabeth McCallum, he had four sons Jonathan, John, 
William and Henry ; and three daughters Mary Ann, Abigail 
and Maria. By his second wife, Susan Rohrer, he had' five 
sons Isaac, Nelson, Colborne, Charles and Titus; and three 
daughters Elizabeth, Harriet and Emily. 

In 1827 he settled on Lot 18, on the Walsingham lake shore. 


This lot had been taken up in an early day by a man named 
White, who lived on the place with an only daughter. Accord- 
ing to an old tradition, a bloody tragedy was enacted on this 
spot more than a hundred years ago. As the story goes, White 
and his daughter came to the Walsingham shore in advance of 
the early settlement, and were possessed of considerable means. 
They erected a cabin on the spot since occupied by the Williams 
home, and here they lived on amicable terms with the Indians 
until the latter learned that the " pale-face squaw " and her 
white companion were abundantly supplied with the " wam- 
pum "